The City and County of Denver has caught the climbing craze.
Denver Parks and Recreation has allocated $400,000 to put a 30-foot climbing wall and 11-foot bouldering area in the under-construction recreation center going up next to East High School.
The Carla Madison Recreation Center will be the first of the city’s 27 rec centers to have a climbing wall – and it will be one of the only outdoor walls in town.
Jeru Parikh, senior landscape architect with Denver Parks and Recreation, said she got approval a few weeks ago to begin building a 30-foot climbing wall on the exterior of the four-story building.
“This was an addition that was funded pretty late in the project,” Parikh said. “It was just something we could add on without losing any other programs.”
The climbing wall will include four to six routes with auto-belay devices that lower a climber without needing a person to belay. Climbers can access the climbing facility’s outdoor balcony via the second floor of the recreation center near the gym, Parikh said. She hired Oregon-based Entra-Prises USA to design the wall.
An outdoor bouldering rock resembling red sandstone is also in the works, and will be as tall as 11 feet and 20 feet long.
“It would not require somebody to go through the center to access it,” Parikh said.
Other plans for the outdoor plaza include setting up poles for a slackline park in the grass, as well as picnic tables, four pingpong tables, and game tables for chess and checkers.
“This recreation center is going to promote the outdoor opportunities that are there, and make the outdoors and the indoors work together,” Parikh said.
Parikh said the climbing wall is fully funded, the climbing boulder is close to being funded and the other amenities — including the slackline park — still need funding.
The Carla Madison Recreation Center, named after the woman who served as council representative for District 8 from 2007 until her death in 2011, is a 69,000-square-foot recreation center at 1530 Josephine St. Denver Parks and Recreation purchased the 2.56 acres in 2009 for $6 million. Among its indoor facilities are two swimming pools, a fitness area, classrooms and a multicourt gym.
Parikh said construction on the center will be completed this fall.