Nina Murray

Staff Writer

If you wander into upstairs Worner next year to speak with someone in the Outdoor Education offices, you may not find who you’re looking for. At some point during the 2014-15 academic year, the Outdoor Education department will move into the Children’s Center on Nevada Street, and the Gear House will relocate to the Center’s basement.


“We are hoping to have [the open space] accessible to students throughout the day and evening for Outdoor Ed related work, trip planning, and also as a general community work and hang-out space,” Outdoor Education Specialist Neal Smeltzer said.


The second floor of the current Children’s Center will be developed to include the Outdoor Education offices, a student intern office, and a meeting room similar to the rooms in upstairs Worner. It will also include a kitchen and a large open room that will serve as a flexible student space.


The Gear House will move from its beloved—though small—location on Weber to the basement of the current Children’s Center, where there will be opportunities for better organization of existing gear. The new space will hold NSO front country gear that will be available to rent throughout the year, and a large space for a repair bench and supplies.


“I’ll like Outdoor Ed being in one location,” sophomore Ellen Smith, who currently works in the Gear House, said, “It should be nice [for Gear House employees] because we’ll have more space and hopefully we’ll do a good job of working on the floor plans.”


Sophomore Maggie Bursch, who also works at the Gear House, commented on the upcoming change. “[The new space] will be a different environment and [will receive less natural light], but there’s definitely not enough space here [at the current Gear House] for all the gear we have.”


Smeltzer also commented on his hopes for the future of the gear house.


“One goal I have for the gear house is to turn it into a campus resource for repairing outdoor gear, from leading instructional clinics to having repair tools and supplies accessible for use by anyone,” Smeltzer said. “I think we will see huge benefits from having a space open most of the day for the outdoor community to plan trips, meet for projects, [and] discuss ideas. Things just happen more efficiently when communicating face-to-face as opposed to email!”


The date of the move is unclear at this point, because [some other dept- to be clarified] is currently located in the Children’s Center. Outdoor Education will have to wait for the Spencer Building to be completed so that the [….] department can move out.


Keep an eye out this fall for more information, and contact the Outdoor Education department with any ideas!




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