Climbing wall proposed for NISS

PORT McNEILL-School seeks funding partners, community support for facility for use by students, public

Do you sometimes fell like you are climbing the walls?

You will soon be able to physically do so in the Town of Port McNeill.

At their regular meeting Feb. 2, Councillor Jay Dixon revealed that plans are underway to build a climbing wall at North Island Secondary School.

“It’s an initiative that was brought forward to our PAC (Parent Advisory Committee) group by our outdoor education teacher Greg Muirhead,” said Dixon, who, by day, is principal at the school, in an interview.

“Our vision is to have a third of a wall with a professional climbing wall on it and adding to it in pieces.

“The addition of a climbing wall “aligns well with our new outdoor education programs that are being offered in Port McNeill, he said, which aim to “get students outside enjoying what people from all over the world come here to do.

“It is exciting and our learners are really vibrant about it (the wall).”

Preliminary planning for the wall is already underway.

“Basically, we’ve received a cost estimate and initial approvals,” Dixon said.

Dixon said the cost to have the wall professionally installed will be between $20,000 and $25,000.

Right now, the school is looking at ways to fund the project.

“We’re looking for sponsors and community partners to help with fund-raising.”

One of the ideas being considered is allowing sponsorship of sections of the wall.

Two other high school on the island have a similar facility and they’re frequently used by both community members and schools.

“We’re exploring the community use insurance right now, but other schools are able to do it, so we are going to use their mode,” he said.

The school will be holding a meeting on Feb. 19. at 6 p.m. for anybody interested in supporting this initiative.

“I think there’s a lot of interest in it and our student population is very excited about it,” Dixon said.

“It’s a project that is very viable; and with community support it can be completed before the end of the school year,” he said.

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