Amid student pushback, rock climbing wall at ACSR to be replaced by fitness center

June 12, 2019, 5:38 p.m.

The bouldering gym at the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation (ACSR) is closing on Wednesday, a move that sparked pushback from students.

As part of a renovation project beginning on Monday and expected to be completed by the start of fall quarter, the wall will be converted to a “new group fitness experience.” Students will continue to be able to climb at the Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center (AOERC) wall.

The “climbing programs and courses will be concentrated at our main climbing wall at the AOERC in order to maximize our resources efficiently,” assistant director of marketing at Stanford Recreation & Wellness Kiley Johnson wrote in a press release announcing the change.

A petition started by Reid Bassette ’20 shortly after the change was announced in protest of the renovation project has received 658 signatures as of the start of the wall’s closing event, “Last Time to Climb” at 5 p.m. They particularly take issue with the fact the renovations were announced only a week before the wall’s closing.

“The crowdedness of the AOERC Climbing Wall deters me from using it, and I can only imagine how this could worsen if existing ACSR boulderers are displaced,” wrote economics Ph.D. candidate Trevor Bakker, who signed the petition, in a supporting comment with his online signature. “The suddenness of this announcement and its release just before exams shakes my trust in Stanford Recreation & Wellness”

When contacted by the dissenting students, Director of Adventure Programs at Recreation & Wellness Sue Lowley wrote to them in a statement shared with The Daily that “over the past two years [Recreation & Wellness has] identified a high need for a dedicated group fitness studio on the east side of campus. The ACSR climbing space was the space that most suited to meeting this need.”

The ACSR will remain open throughout the renovation project, which is expected to last six weeks.

Contact Yusra Arub at yusraarub19 ‘at’

Yusra Arub is a high school senior writing for the University beat. She is interested in sociology and digital humanities. When she is not writing poetry or reading, she is baking for friends and family or playing soccer. Contact her at yusraarub19 ‘at’

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