Complex prepares to re-open June 29

The City’s director of community services Ian James said exercise equipment at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex has been spaced two metres apart due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
During the months the complex was closed it was discovered the air duct system inside the West Fraser Aquatic Centre had not been cleaned out since the renovation. The system has been cleaned out and airflow has improved. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Close up of air holes that were previously clogged in the ducts. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New plastic benches in the change rooms at the West Fraser Aquatic Centre have been installed. They are less porous and easier to disinfect. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Extensive cleaning and removal of a slippery finish on the deck tiles, has kept maintenance staff busy inside the Sam Ketcham pool at the West Fraser Aquatic Centre. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Plexiglass and floor markers have been installed at the cashier area as a COVID-19 precaution at the West Fraser Aquatic Centre. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
On Wednesday, staff began filling the Sam Ketcham pool with water in anticipation of re-opening to the public on June 29. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
At this stage the whirlpool will remain closed. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Ian James, City of Williams Lake director of community services, said wristbands will be given to patrons using the West Fraser Aquatic Centre’s facilities, with a different colour every day. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New wooden benches have been installed in the sauna. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

When the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex reopens on Monday, June 29, patrons will find it easy to ‘keep the distance,’ a requirement under the new normal of COVID-19.

Exercise machines and equipment have been spaced two metres apart, only 50 people will be allowed in the pool area at one time, signage on the floor and walls will be a constant reminder that pandemic precautions are being implemented.

As the lane pool was filling with water one day last weekand maintenance staff were fine tuning renovations started while the complex has been closed to the public, the city’s director of community service Ian James said only the pool side of the building will be re-opening at this point.

The arena side won’t open until September.

Read more: Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex slated for partial reopening June 29

Extra cleaning measures will also be the norm. While people have always been expected to clean exercise equipment after it’s been used, the cleaners used before COVID-19 were to kill germs, James said.

“Because of COVID, it’s more than just germs, so we changed our cleaning product to a disinfectant spray so it now kills germs and also viruses.”

Benches in the change rooms have been switched out with new ones that are less porous and easier to clean as well.

Inside the pool, all of the deck tiles have been scrubbed to remove a sealant that made the floor very slippery when it became wet.

Pointing to air circulation system on the ceiling, James said it has been cleaned.

Air holes in the yellow material covering the pipes are meant to keep the air flowing.

“After the construction, no one had really taken care to clean the ducts so dust plugged up those holes, which restricted the air flow. It’s important for here, especially now during COVID, to have good air circulation.”

James said guests will be issued wrist bands with different colours each day to make it easier for staff to keep track of numbers.

“It will also help our staff to identify who belongs here at first glance.”

Staff who were temporarily laid off are excited to return, he added.

User groups for the arena side have been meeting with complex staff, and planning to return in the fall.

“They are coming up with their own safety and training guidelines that we will review together.”

Doors into the arena will be changed to sliding touch-free types now in place for entering the building, James said.

Earlier this spring, the City purchased a disinfecting machine for public facilities that will be used every evening in the complex, he added.

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