Outdoor adventure center to move to East Bank campus

Branden Peterson

The University Center for Outdoor Adventure will move its operations to the University Field House on the East Bank starting fall 2003.

Currently situated in the St. Paul Student Center, center officials hope the move will raise the program’s visibility and allow them to expand activities.

The center organizes and gathers students for activities from alligator-watching adventures in the Florida Everglades to hiking or camping trips in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

“We get a lot of beginning- to entry-level students who may have done a little camping on their own,” center coordinator Sean Morrissey said. “They want to do their own trips, and we provide a way for that.”

Morrissey said because a majority of participants sign up for activities over the telephone and not in person, the center is not reaching as many students as it could.

“I think we do OK,” he said. “Personally, I don’t feel we reach all the students possible.”

With a minority of University students on the St. Paul campus, predominately those taking classes in St. Paul, assistant recreational sports director Tony Brown said visibility for center activities should improve.

“It’s just hard to get the word out to the whole campus when you’re located on that campus,” Brown said.

The center’s programs were larger than ever this year. More than 600 students participated on 60 student-run, student-planned trips.

Brown said with the current climbing wall in St. Paul, and operations set to begin out of Minneapolis, presence on both campuses should bring students from all over.

“Students are going to be excited. Their reaction is going to be, ‘Wow, we didn’t know this stuff was available,’ ” he said.

Renovations for the center’s new home, in the event entrance of the University Field House, are yet to be finalized.

Final cost estimates are expected next week. After construction, the group expects to move by the end of the summer.