With the implementation of new student-led adventure trips and the renovation of the Outdoor Rental Center, this semester and the ones to come will be an outstanding journey for the University of West Georgia’s (UWG) Outdoor Recreation department. This semester is also important because this month marks the10-year anniversary for the opening of the Campus Center.
“When the Campus Center was renovated back in 2006, ,” said Director of the University Recreation (UREC) TJ Peele.
Both the athletic department or health and physical education academic program originally used the space prior to the rental center. The area previously held an ice bath and training table, so athletes could use the facilities while the Coliseum was constructed.
“The space was underutilized, and for a while, the space just served as storage for outdoor recreation boats and floor covering for the gym as well as a few custodial items,” said Peele.
Grace Andrews, coordinator of Outdoor Recreation, is in charge of the climbing wall, the rental center and the adventure trips, estimated to reboot in spring 2017. Within the next few semesters, the trips will be heavily advertised. Andrews will assemble a team of staff members to equip students with the knowledge needed for these trips.
“Not a lot of people have utilized the Rental Center, and I think that’s just because of its location,” said Andrews.
Peele went on to say tearing down the wall between the rental center and storage area opened up the space and gave the center a front house view of the rental center. Students can now better access it by simply going through the locker room hallway.
“The cost of renovations for the rental center will be very minimal,” said Peele. “We’ve been able to get a lot of help from campus partners, and our staff has also helped with some of the work.”
Studentsneed their student I.D and with either cash or check for rental of canoes, kayaks, tents, paddles, life jackets camping equipment, backpacks and bicycles.
“We have the new bike lanes on campus, and we would really like to upgrade our fleet,” said Peele. “Personnel within our department have an abundant amount of knowledge of bike mechanics.”
“Bike rentals are the most popular at the Rental Center,” said Andrews.
Staff will be able to show students how to use the equipment. There is also a side entrance off of West Georgia Dr. where vehicles have easy access to load equipment.
Renting equipment is affordable. One can rent a canoe or kayak for the entire day for $12. The rental center accepts walk-ins, but if a student wants to reserve equipment for an upcoming trip, the rental center is willing to help.
Another project Andrews hopes to continue is the adventure trips. These trips last either a day or a weekend. There was one trip last semester, but Andrews is hoping to have more participation and better advertising in the next few semesters.
“The ideal model is to eventually have an outdoor education center because the Rental Center should be more focused on how to use the equipment and where to use it,” said Peele.
Andrews wants to have a grand-opening for students to see where the rental center is located and all its amenities.
“I’m hoping the Rental Center will peak students interest about the Carrollton area, and that by going on these adventure trips, students can make memories that directly coincide with UWG,” said Peele. “I want students to say that they were able to utilize the outdoor recreation center and now have these great memories because of it.”