Berryville Community Center spruces up during closure
By Haley Schichtl
The Berryville Community Center does not yet have a date set for reopening, but it’s getting ready for members to come back.
The center has gotten a facelift during its closure, including new paint, refinished floors, updated dressing rooms, a new pool floor, a newly painted basketball court and a new front counter.
Mayor Tim McKinney said he’s excited for the center to reopen, but the concern is how members and staff will maintain social distancing requirements.
He also mentioned that the center has a lot of members and volunteers that are in the over-65 age group, so he wants to be certain they stay safe.
Parks and Recreation director Joe Scott said the pool is one of the most popular facilities in the center, and it would be hard to limit its use.
“An adult can be in the pool without a lifeguard, so most of the day we don’t have supervision in there,” Scott said. “We can put a sign out that says only 10 people at a time. But one of the challenges is making sure people follow the signs.”
McKinney said right now, regulations require workout equipment to be 12 feet apart, which means much less of it will be able to be used.
“We’ve always asked them to wipe down the equipment when they’re done, but now there’s an added emphasis on that,” Scott said. “And we’re still depending on the public.”
He said people won’t be expected to wear a mask while exercising, and that will present a greater need to keep people spaced apart.
Scott said the center is hopeful it will get to hold the summer youth program, but it will have to start later than usual.
“We may try it,” McKinney said. “There’s a lot of organization that we’ll have to do different than we’ve done it in the past.”
Scott said the center will have to make sure it can follow guidelines.
“We could do it in sub-groups, with a couple counselors per 10 kids,” Scott said. “There is a group of people that utilize it. We know how important daycare is to people, and it’s a great program.”
Although the building isn’t open for classes, McKinney said some of the class instructors have continued working with members of their classes in other ways.
“The instructors are basically contractors, not city employees,” McKinney said. “Some of them spread out and have Zumba — or whatever class it is — outside.”
“We encourage people to do outdoors activities like walking,” Scott said. “People can use the public parks. I’m a little worried about kids playing on playground equipment out there, but I think parents are being conscious.”
McKinney said the center will be monitoring how things are going with restaurants reopening around the state, and he hopes the center will soon be able to pick a date to reopen.
“I want to see it level off before we get a whole lot of folks together,” McKinney said.