Yukon University climbing wall placed in storage before it could be used

·2 min read
The climbing wall in Yukon University's gym. The university said the wall was never approved to be built and placed in the gym, and is 'incompatible' with its maple athletic floor that was installed last year. (Submitted by Eve Fréchette - image credit)
The climbing wall in Yukon University's gym. The university said the wall was never approved to be built and placed in the gym, and is 'incompatible' with its maple athletic floor that was installed last year. (Submitted by Eve Fréchette - image credit)

A recently built climbing wall at Yukon University was taken down and put into storage before anyone got a chance to climb on it.

The climbing wall was built in the university's gymnasium but it was never approved to be built and placed there, said a university spokesperson.

Michael Vernon said the university approved a proposal to build a climbing wall in a room next to the gym.

"Ahead of construction, the approved location was found to be not viable due to water pipes being present. The project team changed location to the gym without re-submitting the new location for approval," he wrote in an email to CBC News.

He added the wall was also taken down because it is "incompatible" with the gym's new $450,000 maple athletic floor and planned varsity sports.

Disappointment

Some students, like Eve Fréchette, were looking forward to using the wall and were disappointed by the news.

"There's not a lot at Yukon University to promote a healthy lifestyle," said Fréchette. "There's a small gym, sure. But with the pandemic and with limited options, it was really exciting to have that project and also getting to be involved in the building of it."

Fréchette is the vice-president of student life at the university's student union. An avid climber, she was involved in the wall's planning process.

She said she doesn't think the university will reincorporate the climbing wall.

"These things have specific designs and they need specific supports that are specific to the gym, so if the gym is not a suitable location, it's not going to go up again," she said.

Over budget

The proposal for the climbing wall facility stated an estimated budget of $295,000 over two years.

"This scope and total cost was not shared during the initial approval process and was not approved," wrote Vernon in the email.

The construction of the wall cost $65,000 and its removal was $9,555, he wrote.

Vernon wrote the timeline and process for selecting a new location has yet to be determined.

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