The Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District will delay an immediate opening of fitness programs after the lifting of some coronavirus restrictions in Clatsop County.
“We have made the decision to not reopen fitness room or fitness programs at this time and are evaluating when those can begin again,” Skyler Archibald, the district’s executive director, said. “Having the fitness room in the same building as the pool complicates the access to that space.”
The Bob Chisholm Community Center, which also hosts classes, remains closed.
The state’s phase one plan allows gyms, fitness centers, personal training, dance studios and martial arts centers to open under social distancing and sanitation guidelines.
“It’s a little challenging for our facility, because of the way it’s laid out and how small it is,” Archibald said.
Seaside should delay reopening “a stage away,” board member John Chapman said at last week’s board meeting. “If you have something you could open at phase one, make that open at phase two instead,” he said. “I’d be a supporter of one-stage-off waiting.”
At the budget committee meeting immediately after the board meeting, members approved the district’s nearly $3 million budget. The new budget must be adopted by July 1.
The recreation district is hopeful for a pool reopening if the county moves to phase three at the end of June, Archibald said.
Safety protocol remains a topic of discussion. “There’s not a lot of proper lifeguarding you can do from social distancing when it comes to saving a life, resuscitation or other care during a rescue,” Archibald said.
The other challenge is how to sanitize facilities. “That includes facilities like the locker room, the fitness room, the common areas, entryways, exits — all the things people touch,” Archibald said.
The district will consult with Red Cross providers and other agencies throughout the state before opening, he said.
While the district’s summer camp program, a permitted use during the phase two period, is not canceled, it will have “modifications,” Archibald said.
The district has hired back five employees to manage the child care program and provide custodial services. The district is seeking assistance from the Special Districts Association of Oregon and from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to recover costs to run the emergency child care program and lost revenue during the closure.
A new marketing coordinator will begin on June 8. She replaces Grace Lee, who accepted a job in February as special events director for the Hillsboro Parks and Recreation District.
The farmers market opens June 17 with distancing and limited social interaction.
“Life is going to look a little different for our patrons and for our programs, but we want to do what we can when we reopen to keep people safe and from not spreading if they have it,” Archibald said.