Rec. dept., A.S. Council plan for ropes course

    Members of the A.S. Council and the recreation department will be developing a new plan for the construction of a joint-operated ropes course after their first plan was rejected by the Campus/Community Planning Committee last month.

    Jake Mumm
    Guardian

    The ropes course would be used for leadership and team-building activities and would become the fourth A.S. enterprise — joining the Grove Caffe, Soft Reserves and Lecture Notes.

    The initial plan, which members of the A.S. Council presented to the C/CPC on April 24, proposed that the ropes course be located in the eucalyptus grove across Hopkins Drive from RIMAC Arena. According to A.S. President Jeremy Paul Gallagher, the plan was rejected because of potential environmental ramifications that the ropes course might have on that specific area.

    Gallagher, A.S. Commissioner of Enterprise Operations Jeremy Cogan and former Commissioner of Athletics Robin Shelton were involved in the plan’s development. Members of the Campus Planning Office and the recreation department were also involved in the process. The group’s proposal originally called for the removal of six trees, but when presenting the plan to the C/CPC, the group agreed to lower the number of trees removed to one, Gallagher said.

    “”The C/CPC liked the idea but were not in favor of the location,”” Gallagher said. “”We’re regrouping, and we’re going to figure out a new location and move forward.””

    Recreation affiliates and A.S. Council members will be looking at other potential locations for the ropes course and will formulate a new proposal in fall 2003, according to Cogan. Alternate locations in the original proposal included an area north of the Spanos Center and an area in Pepper Canyon. The Spanos Center site was unfavorable because of its proximity to Genessee Avenue, while the Pepper Canyon site was too steep and might be used for a light transit line in the future, Cogan said. However, both sites will be reconsidered for the next proposal.

    The ropes course would be designed for student, faculty, staff and external group use. The student admission price would be about $10 to $15, according to Gallagher. Faculty and staff use of the course would cost slightly more. However, both prices would be well below a typical ropes course’s admission price, Cogan said.

    “”With over 350 student orgs on campus, we could really impact the university,”” Gallagher said.

    The ropes course would cost about $120,000 to construct, with A.S. Reserves and the recreation department splitting the cost at $60,000 apiece, Gallagher said. Profits from the ropes course would be split at a ratio of 65 to 35 percent between recreation and the Associated Students, respectively, according to Cogan.

    The ropes course would be about 30 to 50 feet high and would be built around six poles. Gallagher said it could be built in only two weeks.

    The recreation department approached the A.S. Council with the idea of a joint-sponsored ropes course. Several other universities, including California State University and other University of California campuses, operate ropes courses.

    The C/CPC advises the chancellor on matters of physical campus and surrounding community development.

    Members of the C/CPC and the recreation department could not be reached for comment.

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