Outdoor Education Center Dedicated


 outdoor ed center

Pictured (left to right): Dr. Richard Bothel, Dana Powell, Dr. Diane Jones, Dr. Roger Brown, Chancellor Allen Meadors, Tommy Thompson and Dane Onorio.

UNC Pembroke's new Outdoor Education Center was dedicated this week. University officials said it would benefit the campus and the community in many ways.

A "ropes course" and 50-foot climbing wall will be completed in March at the site, located at the old arboretum north of the softball field. The Health and Physical Education Department will manage the project.

The cost of the project is $98,700 and was paid for by a grant obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor through the Lumber River Council of Governments (COG).

Heading up the project were Physical Education Instructor Denise Renfrow, Women's Tennis Coach Robyn Langley and Scott Haith, a graduate assistant. Ottis Murray, a grant writer for the Office of Sponsored Research, Sylvia Pate, director of the Regional Center and Associate Vice Chancellor for Outreach Richard Bothel worked with COG on the funding.

The Student Government Association (SGA) chipped in a $500 gift and Physical Plant prepared the site for construction.

A ropes course is designed to build teamwork, problem-solving skills and self-esteem. Diverse community groups such as Communities in School, Juvenile Services and Upward Bound have expressed interest in the center.

"The beauty of the course is you can make it as challenging as you want," Ms. Renfrow said.

Other uses possible for the wooded site include fitness trails, camping sites and other outdoor activities and instruction.

Chancellor Meadors praised all involved for their teamwork.

"Any project that happens has to have people who take the lead," he said. "This is a wonderful addition to campus."

SGA President Dane Onorio summed up the feeling on campus.

"I am graduating in May, but this makes me wish I were a freshman all over again," he said.