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City plans for phased reopening of community centres

A single ice pad at the Allandale Recreation Centre opened June 15 under 'strict requirements'
2018-07-27 Holly CC 3 RB
Holly Community Centre in Barrie. Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday

The city is developing a plan to reopen three local community centres using a phased approach. 

The local facilities will include the Allandale Recreation Centre, Holly Community Centre and East Bayfield Community Centre.

In a memo to council, recreation and culture services director Barb Roth says city staff are working to meet provincial requirements around health protocols alongside the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and governing bodies from various sports. 

"As there is a significant cost exposure, the reopening of the community centres must be considered in conjunction with the city’s financial condition," Roth said. 

During the COVID-19 health crisis, the city emptied its pools, removed the ice, and laid off staff. 

"Reopening the centres will require staff to be hired/brought back to operate the facilities as well as the pools to be filled, balanced and tested, ice to be built and painted and more staff hired/brought back to provide guarding, programming and customer services," Roth said. 

The province recently announced training is permitted for non-team, non-contact sports, such as figure skating and power skating, if the organization was able to meet safety protocols and the governing sport's requirements.

"General access for public use without an overriding sport body or for team/contact sports was not permitted,' Roth said.

As part of an agreement with the Mariposa School of Skating, city staff began building the ice at the Allandale Recreation Centre.

On June 15, a single ice pad opened for use under the "strict requirements" of Skate Canada, Skate Ontario and the local health unit. It will initially be open Monday to Friday only.

Barrie is located in an area where pools are now permitted to open, according to new health protocols from the province.

"In this stage, general access to locker rooms, change rooms, showers and communal kitchen areas is not allowed," Roth said.

Recreational activities are still restricted at indoor facilities.

The province has indicated the next phase — Stage 3 — is when all indoor and outdoor recreational facilities as well as gyms, indoor sports facilities, fitness facilities will be permitted to open, with limits on the number of people, floor space, equipment, showers and change rooms.

"It is also at Stage 3 that training for indoor team sports and individual high-contact sports will be permitted," Roth said. 

Raymond Bowe

About the Author: Raymond Bowe

Raymond is an award-winning journalist who has been reporting from Simcoe County since 2000
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