Nelson Star

Kootenay climbers seeks to move into Mary Hall gym

Conceptual 3D images of the climbing walls proposed for the Mary Hall Gymnasium.  -
Conceptual 3D images of the climbing walls proposed for the Mary Hall Gymnasium.
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Kootenay Climbing Association has been in talks with Selkirk College about building a new climbing wall inside the Mary Hall Gymnasium at the Tenth Street Campus.

The proposed climbing area could include about 2,000 square feet of walls up to 23 feet high for roped climbing and 1,000 square feet of wall for bouldering, and could open as early September 2013 if the climbing association gets its way.

The first step is getting permission to sublet the space from the City of Nelson, owner of the Selkirk College property. The climbing association will ask Nelson city councillors to approve the sublet at a regular council meeting on Monday.

Nelson has been without a climbing gym since Gravity Climbing Centre closed last April. In March, the climbing association and the Nelson Squash Club established the Nelson Downtown Athletic Club and submitted a joint proposal to council to convert the Civic Theatre into a recreational facility to be shared with both groups.

But ultimately the City decided to lease the Civic Theatre to the Nelson Civic Theatre Society to restore it as a movie theatre, leaving the squash club and climbing association looking for another home.

If council approves the sublet of a portion of Mary Hall Gymnasium to the climbing association will need to finalize the lease agreement with Selkirk College and begin fundraising for the $100,000 project.

To date the association has raised $1,500 from memberships and fundraisers, and it has $20,000 commitments from the climbing community in the form of zero interest loans, which is enough to bring the project through the design phases while it works to secure more funds.

The climbing association has developed a business plan, which includes conceptual 3-D modelling of the proposed facility. A copy of the business plan is included below.

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