LIBERTY — Liberty Parks and Recreation expanded its reopening of the Liberty Community Center by offering new annual memberships. The community center originally reopened June 1 with only current members.
Parks Director BJ Staab said his community center staff spent the first few weeks of June evaluating how many members used its facilities during this stage of reopening. Clay County Public Health Center’s Recovery Plan allows 50% occupancy at this phase, but Staab said his team aimed for half that as it expands access to the facility.
“We took those numbers and that was our guide,” Staab said, “but we kept those numbers below those center-recommended numbers to keep physical distancing.”
LPR felt comfortable opening up to new annual members starting on June 10 based on the results so far. Staab and his team are still evaluating when the facility will be able to offer day and summer passes.
“Our membership is really the only thing we could control at this point,” Staab said. “Without knowing how popular day and summer passes would be … we were going to open cautiously and conservatively for the first couple of weeks.”
Staab said his department had many conversations with CCPHC officials about safety protocols as parks and recreation facilities continue to reopen and increase occupancy.
The LCC will conduct temperature checks on all staff and patrons entering the building. Staff will not admit individuals or family members of individuals with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees and/or display general signs of respiratory system issues.
Staab said the pool has 90-minute swimming sessions to allow a 30-minute window for staff to complete cleaning protocols around the pool area. Staff also removed 50% of the chairs in the pool area to help space out patrons.
Staab said high-touch areas are more challenging in regards to maintaining safe conditions. Community center high-touch areas such as fitness centers, locker rooms, the hot tub, the sauna and the rock wall will not reopen during this step of the county’s plan. The gymnasium will be closed to all activities except group exercise classes. Members will not be allowed to use water fountains but bottle fillers will be available.
Members using the health and wellness areas are required to sanitize their equipment with cleaning supplies provided by the facility.
Patrons under 13 years of age were required to have adult supervision throughout the duration of their visit when the facility first opened on June 1, but that restriction was lifted on June 10.
For more information on community center rules, visit libertymissouri.gov/172/Community-Center.