Granby board approves bouldering wall after group secures more funding

A screenshot of one of the slides in a presentation about the proposed Granby bouldering wall, designed by Eldorado Climbing Walls.
Eldorado Climbing Walls/Courtesy image

“Building something from scratch is hard.”

That was the message Never Summer Senders shared on their Instagram on March 28, the day that the Granby Board of Trustees voted against the group’s proposal to put a bouldering wall in one of the town’s parks. 

The cost of the wall had nearly doubled since original estimates, and the town was unwilling to spend another $35,650 on top of the $32,500 it budgeted in its conservation trust fund.

The senders did not give up though, and kept raising funds. In March, the group had raised $44,000, but by the May meeting, the total grew to $63,000. With an updated total cost of $94,800 for the project, the senders’ money and the town’s pre-budgeted $32,500 were more than enough to fund it.

With funding seemingly out of the way, only the question of location remained. Trustee Chris Michalowski, who sits on the Never Summer Senders’ board and coaches its youth climbing teams, gave a slideshow presentation to the rest of the board advocating for building the wall behind the pickleball courts in Polhamus Park — not in Rafferty Park, as the town’s public parks committee had recommended.

“It gets us out of our house, gets us interacting together as a community. If we build this wall in a dirt field,” Michalowski said, referencing the proposed location for the wall in Rafferty Park, “You’re isolated, you’re all by yourself, we’re already isolated enough as a society.”

A map from Trustee Chris Michalowski’s presentation that shows where he and the Never Summer Senders climbing club would like the town to place the bouldering wall. The board eventually voted to put the wall at this location in Polhamus Park.
Town of Granby/Courtesy photo

Seventeen public speakers joined Michalowski in voicing support for placing the wall in Polhamus over Rafferty. Most said something about the parks’ locations — Polhamus being more central, located next to city hall, and Rafferty being more out of the way and farther from local businesses that hope to benefit from any visitors the wall attracts.

Chris Olivier, the owner of Two Pines Supply in Granby and a Never Summer Senders board member, said he has lots of customers ask about nearby places to climb, and he has to tell them to go out of the town.

“The thought of me being able to send people a block away on foot to go climb at Polhamus Park is awesome,” Olivier said.

After the public comments and further board discussion, which included some trustees saying they had entered the meeting supporting putting the wall in Rafferty Park but changed their minds because of the commenters, the board voted to give the project the $32,500 from the budget and place the wall in Polhamus Park.

Other business:

  • Trustees approved up to $800,000 from the South Service Area’s restricted reserves to fund the relocation of a water line under Thompson Road, which is currently under the center of the street and will likely be moved to the north side of the road.
  • The board approved two motions to go forward with the construction of a new North Service Area water plant on the site of the current RV dump station by Kaibab Park. One motion included approving $172,137 of budgeted funds for the engineering of the project.
  • Trustees approved an ordinance that amended town code relating to water theft. Town Manager Ted Cherry said there has been an increase in improper use of the RV dump site’s water spigots, and the change makes using that water for anything other than a recreational vehicle a finable offense.
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