Outdoor Insider Fall 2015 - Page 7

perfect. The space will feel different when it is built. So, what would have been done differently if we had a reset button? Well, a lot. Social space. Unfortunately, the Climbing Center’s footprint evolved as the overall OAC project progressed. What started as a large, open, rectangular envelope became encroached on by a school-bus-sized mechanical room. The space’s alteration came down to competing influences: Would the Climbing Center have its own HVAC system built to withstand the harsh, chalky environment, or would precious square footage be preserved for a more engaging integration of climbing and social space? In the end, efforts to gain a variance to campus design standards failed, and the rectangular projection into the climbing space became affectionately known as the “Magic School Bus.” The impact is that climbing space now feels tight and shifts all social/relaxing space to the flanks of the gym. If the space had been retained, the floor plan would have allowed for more seating in the center and a better line of sight of the whole space. Setting storage. Ask any gym operator, and you’re likely to hear this come up. Either a lot of time and resources were spent to ensure adequate storage space for holds and equipment, or they have something that works but is lacking. The scarcity of space was a constant challenge in this project. Square footage equals real dollars. When initial bids came back significantly over budget, it took every bit of inge- aore.org | nationaloffice@aore.org nuity to keep from sacrificing overall square footage in the building. Ceilings were lowered and finishes were scaled back, but the building footprint stayed the same. That meant a dedicated storage space for setting just wasn’t in the cards. Programmatic space took priority. Today, our setters use the very limited space behind one of the climbing structures. If money were no concern, a space adjacent to the Climbing Center would have been designated to hold storage, including a mop sink and space for cleaning holds. Connectivity between climbing space and the rest of OAC. During the design phase, the logical mindset was to create a distinction between the Climbing Center and the rest of the OAC. It would ensure more control over 7