On Wednesday, January 23, 2002, the Student Recreation Center hosted the grand opening the $80,000, 35-foot climbing wall.
Assembled in the game room, the 1600 square foot wall was built to resemble a small mountain, reaching 34 feet at its highest point and 27 feet at its lowest peak. The wall catered to all levels of climbing expertise, and was available to both students and staff. Initially, the climbing wall was open 7 days a week from 3:30 PM to 10:30 PM, which allowed it to fulfill campus needs for late evening and night activities. According to Larry Spencer, associate director of the SRC, the new wall would provide the SRC with new programming opportunities, and he stated, “We put it up primarily to give us another programming option.”
The University spirit was in full stride at the event as BGSU mascots, Freddie and Frieda Falcon and members of Sic-Sic, BGSU’s spirit crew, showed up to celebrate. All who were present at this event were able to watch Freddie Falcon and two members of the Sic-Sic crew take a turn at climbing the wall.
The SRC offered both a two-hour belay and climbing certification courses at a cost of $15 prior to the wall’s opening. With these certifications, climbers were permitted to use the wall during hours of operation. Bryan Cavins, assistant director of Outdoor Program noted, “The certification process would involve a one to two hour class on rock climbing followed by a test, and the card would have to be renewed each semester.” At the start of the spring semester, 135 students had already signed up to take either the climbing or belay certification courses, and 83 students had already gone through one of the courses prior to the wall’s grand opening.