Staff at the NexSource Centre have used their time during the shutdown to perform some regular maintenance and projects in the facility.
Many projects, such as the pool shut down, upgraded accessibility in Arena One and beginning work on adding a slide in the pool have been completed while the facility has been empty.
Doing these projects while the NexSource Centre has been closed has made it easier to complete them, but it is never the plan to completely shut down the centre, says Monique Pummings, manager of recreation and culture with the Town of Sylvan Lake.
“It made things easier, for sure, but we never actually want to see the building empty. We always want people here and to have access to the NexSource Centre,” Pummings said in a recent phone interview.
By doing some of this work now, while the facility is closed to the public, that means areas will not have to be closed later in the year for maintenance.
Every year the pool at the NexSource Centre is closed in September for a few weeks for upgrades. However, because staff took the opportunity to do so during the spring, residents will not see the pool closed later this year.
“On June 15 we refilled the pool, and we just got our test results back from [Alberta Health Services] that everything checks out and we are good to go,” said Pummings.
A slide for the pool is in the works as well, however that will not be installed until October, as the manufacturer also closed during the pandemic.
The NexSource Centre is reopening to the public on July 5, and a lot of work is going in to making sure the facility is safe and clean for both staff and those using the facility.
Pummings said it will look a little different when visitors first step foot into the facility on July 5.
“We have cleaned and sanitized anything and everything that is touched, and the things that can be removed, such as the chairs outside the arena and the concession sitting area, have been removed,” Pummings explained.
In addition, safety glass will be hung at the reception desk at the concession, capacities for classes have been put into place and the middle tack of the running path has been closed to allow for social distancing.
Those participating in classes, either in the pool or for fitness, are asked to come dressed to minimize the number of people in change rooms.
Pummings said the pool will only be open for aquafit, lane swim and family swim at this time, and each with its own maximum capacity.
“We are following the guidelines set to us by AHS, and we are trying our best to allow for as many people as possible in our facility,” said Pummings. “We are looking at options to add more classes to allow for more people to come through.”
A waiver is needed to be signed as well, and can be done through email – which has been sent out to all current members of the centre – or in person the first time coming into the NexSource Centre after reopening.
Areas such as the hot tub and the play space are not reopening at this time. Pummings expects these areas will reopen in Phase Three of the province’s relaunch strategy.
“We are excited to get back to it and have our members back.
“The NexSource Centre only opened a few years ago, so we have done this before, started from scratch.”