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Challenge course construction underway

Jan. 28, 1997

March completion is expected for high and low elements course

By Karen Taft

Lariat Reporter

Construction is underway on the University's new challenge course at Eastland Lakes.

After a $9,000 allocation from the Student Life Fund and a loan from the University, the construction of the challenge course began Wednesday when the ground was broken.

The course is designed to establish trust and build confidence among the individuals participating.

The course is called a challenge course instead of a ropes course, although the facilities are similar, said Student Body Vice President Kevin McMurry, a Norcross, Ga., senior.

McMurry said the challenge course being constructed has elements that differ from a ropes course.

'The course is similar to a ropes course with the high and low elements,' McMurry said. 'It does a lot to build confidence and create team work.'

The challenge course is separated into two different portions, the high and low elements. The low elements course helps individuals build stronger teams, and it concentrates on developing leadership.

Individuals arrive at the course without knowing one another well, but once they are put into situations where trust is essential, a personal relationship evolves.

The low elements portion builds an immediate trusting relationship among individuals, while the high element portion concentrates on individual development, said Dr. Martha Lou Scott, dean for student life.

'The challenge course helps build teams and helps individuals work together as groups,' Scott said. 'Alcoholics Anonymous groups, sororities and English classes have gone through courses similar to this to help them work together.'

Scott said the construction of the course was to be completed Saturday, but before the facility can open, facilitators need to go through 40 hours of training sessions.

The course is scheduled to open sometime in March, but the specific date depends on completion of the training sessions.

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