The West Plains Civic Center has decided to reopen the building in stages to ensure social distancing is enforceable and controlled, although restrictions will be in place to limit occupancy.
The first stage will begin with a reopening of the Pool and Fitness Center on Monday, May 18. Entry to the building will only be permitted through the exterior Fitness Center Doors on the west side of the building. Fitness Center staff members will take temperatures of those coming to use the facilities. The locker rooms, pool, and fitness center areas will be the only parts of the building open to the public during this stage.
Open swim hours for the public will be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-9 a.m., and in the evenings from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. The fitness center will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The Civic Center will remain closed on the weekends. Occupancy will be limited to a maximum of 35 people in the pool area and 10 in the fitness center. These numbers include building staff and lifeguards.
Staff will work diligently throughout the day to ensure disinfecting practices are performed. Sanitation wipe stations will be available throughout the pool, locker room areas, and fitness center stations. The Civic Center has installed foot door openers on the backs of all restroom and locker room doors to help reduce the number of hands that touch the door handles between cleanings, with hand sanitizing stations outside the restrooms also available. Signage has been posted around the building reminding customers and employees of proper handwashing and hygiene activities. During Stage 1, all other exterior doors will be closed to the public.
The Civic Center is currently working on Stage 2 of its plan, which includes reopening other areas of the building for smaller events. Those details will be available at a later date.
“The very nature of this pandemic is very fluid, and we’ve had to be very flexible while working through our timeline,” said Civic Center Business Manager Eryn Walters, who pointed out that the Civic Center averages approximately 150,000 people through the building each year. “It is the upmost goal of the Civic Center to ensure the safety of our employees and our customers, so we will continually ask for everyone’s patience through this process as we work to get back to our normal operating schedule.”