Members of the Design, Construction, and Development teams gathered October 15th to break ground on First Ascent Climbing & Fitness, the city’s largest dedicated indoor rock climbing facility in Logan Square Avondale.
“For the First Ascent team, the groundbreaking ceremony marks the day when vision becomes reality – when all of the dreaming, designing, and planning we’ve done to create a world class climbing gym here in Chicago begins to take shape,” said Dan Bartz of First Ascent. “We can’t thank Mike, Charles, Steve, Kathy, Trevor, and Ryan of FitzGerald Associates Architects enough for the creativity, enthusiasm, and hard work they invested in helping us make our vision a reality.”
The dream of a partnership of avid climbers who were eager to fill the needs of climbing enthusiasts in the city beyond the climbing walls found in some fitness centers, First Ascent will host 60 foot high ceilings and over 25,000 square feet of climbing surface allowing climbers to lead climb, top rope, and boulder. Other features of the facility include a cross-training fitness center, a yoga studio, locker rooms, retail space, and a café. According to First Ascent, “routes and features will be friendly for beginners and challenging for experts.”
First Ascent has collaborated with climbing wall designer Walltopia to specify and support climbing surfaces that cater to all experience levels, from beginner to elite. An official Grand Opening for the facility is expected in the first quarter of 2015.