Columbia Valley Pioneer staff

After a prolonged closure, the climbing wall at JA Laird Elementary School has reopened to the public.

“The climbing wall has been a vital part of the community since 2002. It is awesome to have it open again for everyone to enjoy,” said advocate Herb Weller.

The initial closure was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the school district worked with Weller, Jack Caldbick, and Julie Beauchemin to determine options to allow public access again. A new society was created and has entered into a license of occupation with the district. Insurance has been obtained by the society which will allow for community use.

Rocky Mountain School District secretary treasurer Alan Rice explained that the liability insurance provides coverage for school sanctioned events, which includes clubs, sports or other activities outside of regular school hours. However, the district requires proof of insurance for all non-school sanctioned events for use by employees, youth groups, community/non-profit groups, or commercial users.

“Getting insurance in place for non-school sanctioned climbing took some time and creative thinking with our community partners,” Rice said.

The school district extends its gratitude to Weller, Caldbick and Beauchemin who have worked tirelessly to find a collaborative solution.

The climbing wall is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m. For bookings outside regular hours, contact Weller at 250-688-5228.

(File photo)