Cedaredge Middle School students have a dream — a dream of a climbing wall in their gym. Peter Carlson, Hannah Hatheway, Anna Carlson, Blake Gash and Owen Craig recently shared their dream with school board members.
The students visited climbing walls in Ridgway and Montrose to determine which configuration they wanted to use. The design they came up with is based on a steel structure 25 feet high and 25 feet wide. It will be placed in a corner of the gym and will include a bouldering section that doesn't require the use of ropes. The climbing wall is designed to accommodate climbers of all ages and abilities, and will be open to the public one night a week for a nominal fee to help with maintenance costs.
"This is not just for Cedaredge Middle School students, but for everybody in the community," the students explained.
Schools in Ridgway, Montrose and Grand Junction have competitive climbing teams, so that's one avenue students can pursue. After-school programs for students districtwide are also a possibility. Use of the climbing wall aligns with curriculum standards for P.E., the students assured school board members.
Peter Carlson said students have raised about half the money they need for the $30,000 project. They plan to pursue grants and solicit donations to cover the rest of the cost.
The student organizers are planning a big fundraising push in conjunction with the school's Science Night April 3. They're sending out letters to businesses and community members asking for items for a silent auction. A dinner will also be served that night, which features 30 to 40 science-related exhibits. "It's a big night for us," CMS principal Randy Brown said.
The hope is to have the funds in hand by the end of the school year, so the climbing wall can be erected over the summer. The plans are currently in the hands of architect Matt Hepp.
"While the climbing wall committee is comprised of gifted and talented students, this will end up being a whole school effort," Brown said.
Brown called CMS teachers Doug Craig and Michael Long "the brains of the operation."
"These two teachers have really pushed these students to be the best they can be and do what they can to get this climbing wall going.
"They want to reach kids who are not involved in athletics, Knowledge Bowl, MathCounts or other CMS activities, so everyone has an opportunity to build teamwork, confidence, courage ... those things that go along with our school's core values," Brown said.
"The climbing wall will connect our community," Carlson said. "It will also bring together students from throughout the school district."
School board member Kathy Svenson congratulated the students on their goal. "I think you guys could teach the community how to get organized and get things going," she said.
The school board as a whole expressed support for the project and wished the students well.
"Keep us informed and good luck," said school board president Pete Blair.
Anyone who wishes to make a donation or provide an item for the silent auction is asked to call the school at 856-3118.blog comments powered by Disqus