September 16, 2020
The Club has been significantly impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency. As we work on our recovery and reopening, there are many factors that need to be assessed including significant health and safety measures that require the Club to shift and in some cases, redesign a new norm for operating.
While this planning and redesigning process takes time and we are anxious as with many of you to reopen our doors. In the meantime, we have created an FAQ below to help our community stay up-to-date on the process. As this COVID-19 health emergency remains fluid, this FAQ will be updated as needed.
• Why are other fitness centers and pools open but the Club is not?
o The Club is licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). Up until the beginning of September, EEC regulations prohibited individuals other than Club staff, registered youth members and emergency personnel to be on premises. EEC regulations were recently updated to include allowing non-essential visitors on premises but not allowing them to share or enter any child care space. While this update offers more flexibility, the Club needs to reconfigure the space to prevent sharing of entryways, hallways and stairwells.
• How are other organizations such as the YMCA able to reopen to serve both children and adults but the Club is not?
o While we cannot speak for other organizations, we recognize the layout of the Club is unique and different from other organizations. Our fitness room is located right alongside several youth program spaces which creates the challenge of shared hallways and exposure between children and non-essential guests. We are exploring options to address this challenge and actively fundraising to support this effort.
• If there are conflicts with the child care programs, can the fitness room and/or pool be open during days/hours that the child care programs are not operating?
o We are exploring this as an option but there are two main challenges to overcome:
? State mandates require fitness facilities to space equipment 14 feet apart. This poses a significant challenge as our fitness room is only 1,200 sq. ft. and would require us to block off much of the equipment.
? In addition to the physical constraints, there are significant reopening costs that the Club needs to consider. The Club has been committed to being as accessible as possible to our community and thus has historically subsidized membership fees to cover the true costs of operating our fitness and aquatics programs. Due to the pandemic, operating costs have risen while the Club’s fundraising efforts have been impacted. The Club is thinking outside the box and redesigning our program infrastructure to ensure its sustainability.
• What actions has the Club taken thus far to prepare for reopening?
o The Club is actively monitoring state mandates as well as the health and safety guidelines for all of our programs. We also leveraged the closure to drain the pool, do a complete acid wash and make some necessary tile repairs. This project was just completed at the end of August.
• What are the Club’s current priorities and concerns about reopening?
o The reopening of all of our programs is done safely with all our members and staff in mind.
o In addition to fundraising, the pool is actively going through a recertification process with the local health department. This is a requirement before we are able to reopen.
o The community, like many across the Commonwealth are adapting to a new school year with remote learning. This change presented a significant challenge for many working families who are not able to stay home to facilitate learning with their child. The Club made a decision to step up and create a Remote Learning Support Program to provide a safe place for children to go on their remote learning days and enable parents to return to work. This was and continues to be a large undertaking but we felt was necessary and beneficial to families in addition to our community at-large.
• When does the Club anticipate reopening for fitness and/or aquatics?
o While we do not have a definitive date to announce, we are diligently working on removing the barriers that are keeping these programs closed. We anticipate reopening the pool first and hope for an early fall welcoming date. We truly regret not being able to be more specific.
o We will be sharing updates on our website and Facebook page and we will also contact current members individually when a more concrete date is determined.