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Council Gives Okay to Near $500,000 Entertainment Venue to be Part of Indoor Sports and Rec Complex

August 11, 2020
Most know about the pool. Most know about the gymnasium. And most know about the indoor walking track.
But there is a whole lot more going on – and going into – The Bridgeport Indoor Sports and Recreation Complex in the city. On Monday, City Council approved a contract for one unique aspect of it.
The city’s governing body signed off on a $473,800 contract, along with a 10 percent contingency of $47,380 (for a total of $521,180), for a feature that officials believe will be a hit with kids and adults alike.
Last night, Council gave the green light for a “Clip ‘N Climb” climbing package for the indoor complex still on target for a 2021 opening. For those thinking it is a standard rock-climbing wall, that thinking might be flawed.
“It’s not your traditional climbing wall,” Bridgeport Parks and Recreation Director Joe Shuttleworth said. “It’s very colorful and very interactive … It’s not a rock-climbing wall.”
Instead, it is an interaction wall in a room that will have a ceiling as high as 24 feet. Shuttleworth said the company chosen will install 31 climbing lines as part of the project.
The company that will be doing the work is Entre Prises USA, LLC from Bend, Oregon, and are no strangers to projects of this nature. According to the company, they have completed more than 3,000 projects across North America since 1988. They've done projects in Europe as well.
Shuttleworth told members of Council the facility will be perfect for parties as well as individuals looking to have some fun. He said it can host parties of roughly 30 people that would require up to three to four staff members to handle.
“It should be a good revenue producing stream,” said Shuttleworth.
The climbing system, Shuttleworth said, is safe. It operates with an auto belay system as part of the safety harness and packaging that is a double lock system, he said.
“They’re free to climb and they have to work with a staff member to get locked into each climbing area,” said Shuttleworth. “If they fall or slip, there’s about a half second delay and the auto belay catches them and just lowers them down to the floor.”
The surfaces of the wall are a harder surface and easy to maintain. Shuttleworth said except for padding, the facility should have a long life span. He also said they are brightly colored and will provide a great visual through the glass windows for those driving up to the facility.
More from Council’s meetings in the days ahead on Connect-Bridgeport, including more additions to the Rec Complex.
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Parks and Recreation Director Joe Shuttleworth talking Monday to Council members in attendance and those attending via video conference to maintain proper social distancing. Bottom photo is of a Clip 'N Climb system in New Castle United Kingdome.