The rock climbing community of Columbia is about to get a little bit bigger. With the opening of Como Rocks, an indoor climbing facility on Nifong Boulevard, climbers of all skill levels will be able to enjoy themselves year-round.

“Columbia has a lot of climbing within 10 minutes of it, including a city park, and you don’t even have that in most big mountain towns,” said owner David McGee.

McGee has been passionate about rock climbing since college and helped open a gym in Springfield.

“(I) just loved the sport of climbing for myself as well as really loved introducing it to people, especially people who don’t really consider themselves a climber,” he said.

Furthering his sense of community, McGee moved to El Salvador in Central America. There, he spent eight years working for a nonprofit that does community development.

“It’s really just all about engaging with community members to help people thrive in their contexts,” he said.

Como Rocks has launched an initiative to help generate early memberships. “Ground Up” club members will have access to an early opening and will be notified of special events and opportunities as they arise.

In the future, McGee hopes to collaborate with other nonprofit and community-based organizations in Columbia. He also hopes to introduce adaptive climbing for people with disabilities.

“In empowering individuals, there’s also this component of elevating community,” McGee said.

“The climbing community is always just a very open, welcoming community. I think especially having opportunities for programming for at-risk youth and for adaptive climbing, I feel like it’s just going to benefit the community significantly.”

Como Rocks is projected to have a number of soft openings throughout late December and early January and is currently selling memberships.

Recommended for you