Boise State hopes to build new ropes challenge course

Boise State University hopes to build a new ropes challenge course on property it owns near the Boise Bench.

The school asked the City of Boise for a conditional use permit amendment for the property it owns at 1507 S. Oakland Ave. – which is currently used for the BOAS Tennis and Soccer Facility.

The school’s campus recreation department would run the course, which would give students and faculty access to both a “low-ropes” and “high-ropes” course. The low-ropes features include logs and planks places slightly above the ground. The high-ropes features bring users up into the air using aerial platforms. Participants climb up on rope ladders and end their course journey on a zip line back down to the earth. Poles up to 43 feet high would support the equipment, which requires approval from the city.

“Boise State is confident the challenge course is a responsible and ideal use of the property. The course will create exceptional opportunities for students and the community to enhance leadership and teambuilding skills,” Drew Alexander wrote in an application letter. “The course, by design, maintains many of the qualities of the site that neighbors have grown to appreciate over time. This includes open space and access to nearby pathways.”

Parking concerns

The school will also add a small storage shed and a 20-foot by 35-foot covered pavilion on the site. It also wants the city’s permission to build a footbridge over an onsite drainage ditch.

Several neighbors in the area expressed concern about the project, citing demands on parking from current events.

“We understand that recent women’s soccer events have strained parking availability and created some impact on adjacent streets,” Alexander wrote. “To acknowledge neighborhood concerns associated with any additional uses on the site, Boise State is willing to implement a shuttle system for challenge course participants if activities coincide with a competitive soccer event.”

Boise’s Planning & Zoning Commission plans to hear the project at its November 18th meeting at 6pm at Boise City Hall.

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