Ropes course in the works

    Come early winter quarter 2004, the UCSD campus is scheduled to be home to a new ropes course open to students, faculty and members of the San Diego community. Funded jointly by Associated Students and UCSD Recreation, the ropes course will consist of various outdoor challenges designed for activities promoting trust-building and team unity.

    According to A.S. President Jeremy Paul Gallagher, the main goal for the construction of this outdoor challenge is to facilitate bonding experiences and enhance relationships, particularly among student organizations and their members. However, faculty and non-UCSD members are also welcome to participate.

    “”Our main focus is to benefit the UCSD community,”” Gallagher said.

    Consisting of tall towers and various lines connected to harnesses, the course will be designed for use by groups of 20 to 30 people. Planners envision its function to be primarily in student organization retreats, summer conferences and company team-building ventures.

    “”The course will be built with the students’ interests in mind,”” Outdoor Recreation director Brian Grube said.

    Grube hopes the course will bring together students living both on and off campus.

    Construction is anticipated for January 2004, and the new facility is projected to open within a week to 10 days from the start of construction. With no need for large-scale landscaping or grading, the development is estimated to take “”a few days to build ‹ a week max,”” A.S. Commissioner of Enterprise Operations Jeremy Cogan said.

    With the bulk of planning already completed, the next step, according to Cogan, is to converse with architects to define when and how construction will take place.

    Associated Students and UCSD Recreation are collaborating to subsidize the ropes course, with both parties investing $60,000. Sixty-five percent of all profits are expected to go to Campus Recreation, while the remaining 35 percent will be allocated to Associated Students. Campus Recreation will assume responsibility of logistical matters, including employment, financial affairs and maintenance, while Associated Students is expected to generate business by marketing to students.

    The idea of a ropes course started to turn into a reality at the beginning of this year after several years of discussion by A.S. councilmembers. In February, the A.S. Council submitted a proposal to the Campus Community Planning Committee to build the course in the eucalyptus grove located on West Campus. The CCPC formally struck the proposal down because of the course’s locale and varying viewpoints on the scale of the project.

    After the CCPC’s rejection of the initial locale, an alternative location was suggested in October. This time the location sought was across Interstate-5 on the grounds of East Campus, with prospective building to be located south of the softball field and north of Thornton Hospital.

    “”It was highly recommended to find land designated as [already existing] sports and recreation land,”” said Don Chadwick, director of Sports Facilities/Student Affairs.

    The second plan was passed unanimously by the CCPC.

    Planners estimate that the costs for using this new facility will be lowest for UCSD students, with a roughly projected cost of about $15 for a full day’s activities. Non-UCSD members will pay the most (around $50), while faculty and staff members can expect to pay a fee that falls somewhere in between.

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