FA info icon.svgAngle down icon.svgProject data
Authors Dylan Kinser
Tony Mitchell
Team Gridiron
Completed 2014
Made Yes
Replicated No
Cost USD 1172.27
OKH Manifest Download

Building a Traverse Climbing Wall to help educate students at Redwood Montessori. The purpose of this project is to replace the current play structure at the Redwood Coast Montessori School (RCMS) and the Manila Community Center, located in Manila, CA. Redwood Coast Montessori is a school with 80 students that range from Kindergarten-Six grade. The children's education is formed around hands on learning rather than traditional classrooms, desks, and whiteboards. The students are allowed to express their own interest in how they want to learn throughout each day. Like regular public schools, they're allowed to go outside and play during their scheduled recess times, but unlike regular public schools, the only play structure that they have is a log. The Gridiron team from HSU Engr design class was assigned the task of coming up with a play structure for the school,which ties into their hands on style of learning. A representative from RCM met with the students weekly to work on the design and help to get the projects implemented into the school. The board of directors have to give the final approval for the play structure to be installed.

Team Gridiron.

Background[edit | edit source]

Redwood Coast Montessori currently has a log as their only play structure and it is located outside on the field. as you can see in figure 1. Team Gridiron is composed of four HSU students enrolled in Lonny Grafman's ENGR design class and they are Dylan Kinser,Miquan Johnson, Tony Mitchell, and Gregory Olivas. After meetings with a representative from the school, and a lot of information regarding possibilities of how they'd like the play structure to be built. Team Gridiron decided on criteria that the play structure would have to fit. This allowed the design ideas to narrow down to what could really be built and after researching all of the aspects regarding a play structure for an elementary school in a dune ecosystem everything was taken into account. A delphi matrix allowed team Gridiron to come up with the top four choices of the play structure. In the end, a vote within the team decided to build a traverse rock climbing wall for the school. Local rock climbing gyms helped give advice on how to put the wall together and with professional advice from HSU's staff, the final design was finally decided on. After over 100 hours of implementation spent on the climbing wall, and generous discounts and donations from Almquist Lumber, The Mill Yard, Far North Climbing Gym, and Mckenny's, everything is ready to be put together. An approval from the board of directors is the last step prior to fully installing the climbing wall.

Fig 1: RCM Current Play Structure

Problem Statement and Criteria[edit | edit source]

Specifications and considerations are the defining aspects of the play structure. These aspects have been set forth by the team Gridiron with accordance with the client at Redwood Coast Montessori based on the school's and the community center's needs. The play structure design must meet the criteria, and stay within the constraints listed in the table below.

Criteria Weight Constraint
Safety 9 Wall must have no sharp points or corners, and paint must be child friendly
Cost 8 Must not exceed $400
Maintenance 8 Parts should be easily fixable/replaceable by regular staff
Aesthetics 6 Any art displayed on wall should reflect that of the coastal (manila dune) environment
Age Appropriateness 5 Structure is usable by children from ages 6-12
Concealment 4 Wall should be capable of being hidden by staff to reduce distractions outside of play time
Upcycled Materials 4 Recycled materials will be used whenever possible

Description of Final Project[edit | edit source]

The climbing wall is complete and awaiting approval from the Manila Board of Directors to be fully install into the gym at Redwood Coast Montessori.

Costs[edit | edit source]

Item Quantity Retail Cost ($) Our Cost ($)
Plywood 5 42.18 37.96
2x4x8 Lumber 30 2.78 2.50
Box Wood Screws 1 29.98 26.98
7/16" Bit 1 7.97 7.17
Sand Paper 4 0.96 Donated
Roller & Paint Tray 1 3.96 Donated
Paint Gallon 4 30.99 Donated
Primer 2 23.99 Donated
Silicon 1 5.92 5.92
Plastic Roll 1 17.14 17.14
Clay 1 9.73 9.73
Rock Climbing Holds 179 3.00 0.25
Corner Brace 4 1.73 1.73
Corner Brace Offset 4 1.66 1.66
1/2-13X4 Hex Bolt 12 0.59 0.59
1/2-13X2-1/12 Hex Bolt 12 0.29 0.29
1/2 Lock Nuts 24 0.25 0.25
Flat Washer 56 0.15 0.15
1/2-6X3-1/2 Hex Lag 8 0.46 0.46
Paint Rollers 1 2.48 2.48
Total Cost $1172.27 $380.93

Testing Results[edit | edit source]

Fig 2: Testing results

Team Gridiron put one section of the wall together to conduct a series of tests to see if everything was working properly. Each team member was able to climb up and stand on the holds proving that the wall can withstand a greater amount of weight than the kids. As you can see in Figure 1, the structure can withstand the weight of an adult.

Video[edit | edit source]


How to build[edit | edit source]


Cut the 2x4 pieces of lumber for the frame.


Build the frames for the sheets of plywood using wood screws and the cut pieces of 2x4's as well as the full length pieces. While building the frames measure each piece of lumber on the inside of the frame to be 16" apart, or less, from each other.


Primer the sheets of plywood with two coats of primer paint.


Paint the sheets of plywood with two coats of exterior paint using any color of choice.


Lay the frames down in the desired design position and drill holes into the frames so the frames can be bolted together.


Bolt the frames together and for security use locking nuts so that they can't come apart. Bolt the center pieces of the frames together.


Drill the painted sheets of plywood onto the frame using wood screws.


Drill the rock climbing holds onto the sheet of plywood in a design that has the footholds near the bottom and the handholds above them.


Use a stud-finder to locate the studs behind the wall that the climbing wall will be mounted on and mark the spots where the lag screws will be inserted for the wall to be fully installed.


Following the instructions provided mount the finish climbing wall onto the desired wall by matching the marked spots on the wall with the L-braces on each side of the wall. Use lag screws to bolt the climbing wall onto the desired wall.

Discussion and next steps[edit | edit source]

The next steps in the process is to finish putting the climbing wall together and leave an instruction manual to help with the installation. The board of directors at the Manila Community center need revisions to answer all of the worries regarding the installation process. Until then, a detailed instruction manual will be left for the staff at Redwood Coast Montessori to install the climbing wall after the board meeting.

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