New Home for Outdoor Adventure Opens in Bast
Article Written by Hannah Vandegrift
Photo Courtesy of Brieannah Gouveia
An old athletic storage space in Bast has been convert- ed into the new headquarters for Roanoke’s Outdoor Adven- tures Program.
Chad Heddleston, Out- door Adventures Coordinator, said the initiative has been in the works since the beginning of the academic school year, but construction of the OA Center did not begin until this semester. The contractors, RL Price, nished the main renova- tion two weeks ago, Heddleston said, and students have been working on interior design and decoration since.
Previously a very con ned space, the room has been opened up and made more inviting. Framed by a landscape mural painting and accentuated by a wall of bright- ly colored storage cabinets, the room is also equipped with
wooden pegs and hangboards. Heddleston said the OA Center will serve as the headquarters for weekly OA meetings, trip planning and skill teaching sessions. Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., it will also act as the of cial gear rental room, where, according to the OA rental form, students can go to
check out kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, mountain bikes, tents, backpacks, bouldering pads, trekking poles, cooksets, sleeping bags and pads.
Heddleston added that OA will be hiring employees to work in the new space and as trip guides in the coming fall. “Right now we have an amazing group of guides,” he said, adding that
“we offer the best, most excit- ing, fun things that you can do in the Roanoke area.”
Junior Brian Matera serves as a lead guide for OA and has been a part of the club since his freshman year. “My favorite thing to do with OA is climbing; it does not matter if it is indoor or outdoor. And my favorite thing about OA is the inclusiveness, be-
cause no matter what your level of experience or what you are into, we can accommodate you and broaden your horizons, or just take you to do fun things.”
The Center will be dedicated this Satur- day at 1:30 p.m. to McMillan “Mac” and Marcy Johnson. The commemorative plaque outside of the center’s entrance lists the highlights Mac’s role
as “the Dean of Students, Vice President of Student Affairs, and Senior Advisor to the Pres- ident from 1976 to 2014.” It also mentions that he helped establish the Outdoor Adven- tures Program at Roanoke.
Heddleston noted that the ceremony will be of ciated with a “rope untying, not rope cutting. There will also be giveaways!”