FORT RILEY, Kan. - Craig Fitness Center now has climbing walls.

The project, completed Dec. 13, includes a belay-wall that can support eight climbers simultaneously and a bouldering wall.

Pfc. Brenan O'Neal, a BOSS Soldier with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, was one of the first people to try out the walls.

"It's gonna be entertaining," he said. "It's a new experience, and it's nice to have something different to do."

O'Neal said his favorite part was watching other amateur climbers screw up.

The climbing walls will be supported by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Warrior Adventure Quest program, which will have programming for the equipment.

"We're really excited to have (the climbing walls)," said Scott Scherberger, DFMWR community recreation division chief. "It's something that's new to Fort Riley, and there's not a lot of competition out there, which is real cool."

The climbing walls, which were purchased using funds donated from a private individual, will play a large role in the resiliency campus gym that also will feature a smoothie bar, Wii Fit and aromatherapy and yoga rooms, Scherberger said.

"Once all of the renovations are done, it's going to be a great facility on the hill for folks to come to," he said.

"A year from now, this facility is going to look a lot different than it does today, and the wall is a great addition to that."

Programming plans have not yet been finalized.

"We have to still work through our programming plans because you have to get trained on it first," Scherberger said. "No one can come in and just climb."

The climbing walls will be available to Soldiers, Families and Department of Defense civilians with access to the gym.

Craig Fitness Center is closed for renovations with no timetable set for completion, but the climbing walls will be available by reservation.

For more information, contact Craig Fitness Center at 785-239-5562.

Page last updated Wed December 22nd, 2010 at 17:39