Donor takes climbing wall to the Xtreme

Monday, April 4, 2005

Climbing wall

One especially popular feature of the SCSU Student Recreation Center that opened spring semester is the rock climbing wall.

At 30 feet the wall is one of the largest in the state; it is also the only one in Minnesota with two climbing surfaces. One is a typical molded rock surface; the other is textured, has many more holds, bouldering, a tap rope, a sport lead, an overhang, and an archway, making it a challenge for experienced climbers.

“This wall has been a wonderful feature of the center,” said Ron Seibring, director of Sports Facilities and Campus Recreation, as he watched climbers on their way to the top. “Our students love it, and it brings to campus people we don’t see that often.” The wall attracts high school students, experienced climbers, hobbyists and adults from across the community – an average of 25 a night within just two weeks of its opening. One of the first climbing competitions at the Student Recreation Center attracted 60 entrants: “We had to turn people away,” said Seibring.

Longtime friends of the university, the Bernick family helped complete the wall. A spokesman for their company said they decided to help because of students. “They invested a lot in this center,” he said of the multi-million dollar bond issue students will repay with increased student activity fees. On behalf of Bernick’s Pepsi, the Bernick family made a gift of $100,000 to complete the recreation center feature, now named the Mountain Dew Xtreme Climbing Wall.

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