Steep Rock Bouldering to Be First Retail Tenant at Columbia University’s New Manhattanville Campus

Columbia University announced today that Steep Rock Bouldering, a New York City-based indoor climbing facility, will be the first retail tenant at the University’s new Manhattanville campus, joining a Community Wellness Center, an interactive installation about brain research and an Education Lab as part of the civic and retail spaces that will define the street level experience of the campus.

December 02, 2016

The signing of Steep Rock Bouldering is consistent with the University’s long-standing approach to its retail tenants which favors local businesses that bring a variety of amenities and experiences to the diverse Columbia community, the wider local community and visitors.

“The addition of Steep Rock Bouldering to the Manhattanville campus in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center makes a physically and mentally demanding activity, that is currently available only in limited locations in the city, accessible to Columbia and Upper Manhattan,” said David M. Greenberg, executive vice president of Columbia University Facilities and Operations.  “Steep Rock Bouldering was selected for its high-quality service, successful track record and community engagement.”

Columbia University and Steep Rock Bouldering anticipate partnering to pursue community initiatives at the Manhattanville location to extend the programming and make it more accessible to more people throughout the Columbia and local community. At its East Side location, Steep Rock Bouldering partners with physical education teachers at local public schools to bring classes to the facility, and children transitioning through a nearby homeless shelter in East Harlem have access to the facility, pro bono, two days a week.

Bouldering does not require harnesses or ropes and is a healthy, unique, and fun activity that demands mental concentration and analytical skills. “Climbing is both mentally and physically demanding; the amount of energy and time that you dedicate to it is directly transferrable to your success,” said Sasha DiGiulian, a 2016 Columbia College graduate and world-champion climber.  “As a community, climbing is a tremendous activity for kids and adults alike to augment spatial awareness, problem solving and teamwork skills.  I am incredibly excited to see the growth of climbing globally and to share my passion with as many people as possible.”

The Manhattanville bouldering facility will have a number of offerings, ranging from lessons to monthly memberships to community events. Day passes will be available to ages 13 and up on weekdays and ages 8 and up on weekends. The facility will also be open to community spectators during world-class bouldering competitions. Steep Rock Bouldering’s inaugural events will include an open house to give community members an opportunity to familiarize themselves with bouldering and the facility’s offerings.

Steep Rock Bouldering will occupy approximately 5,300 square feet on the ground floor and mezzanine levels in the southeast portion of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center. The Steep Rock Bouldering space will also include a retail shop selling outdoor recreational gear and accessories.

At street level, the buildings throughout Columbia’s new Manhattanville campus will be transparent in design, open to the public and programmed to engage the Columbia community and community-at-large. In addition to Steep Rock Bouldering, the street-level public spaces in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center include:

  • A Community Wellness Center offering blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, as well as mental health and stroke prevention training, under the direction of Dr. Olajide A. Williams, chief of staff/chief medical officer of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center and Dr. Sidney Hankerson, assistant professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
  • An Education Lab offering public programs on brain science for the community and K-12 schools, with hands-on activities that harness the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute’s research
  • The Synapse, an interactive installation where the public can learn about the brain research being conducted in the building
  • Two more retail locations, likely a coffee/grab-and-go type of establishment and a restaurant

In addition, the first open space to be completed on the new campus, the Small Square, will offer an informal, 10,000-square-foot outdoor plaza designed to engage the public and University community with seating areas and free Wi-Fi.

The largest building ever constructed by Columbia University, the Jerome L. Greene Science Center provides 450,000 square feet of space for the neuroscience researchers of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. Established in 2012, the Zuckerman Institute is Columbia University’s comprehensive center for interdisciplinary and collaborative research in brain science.

Construction for Steep Rock Bouldering is currently underway, and the facility is anticipated to open in the first quarter of 2017.