Lake Park Aquatic Center will remain closed in 2020

| May 21, 2020

The Board of Park Commissioners met in special session on May 20 to review and discuss summer plans for the Lake Park Aquatic Center. Last week, Governor Mike DeWine announced that swimming pool and aquatic centers could open on Tuesday, May 26, providing they could follow the Guidelines in Responsible Restart Ohio as well as the CDC rules pertaining to aquatic venues. These guidelines set strict limits on pool capacity, cleaning routines and rules on maintaining social distance throughout the pool deck as well as in the water.

Park district staff have reviewed the limitations and outlined the modifications necessary as they relate to their specific venue. If the pool were to open for 2020, officials would be required to make the following changes:

  • The maximum capacity of the facility, based on the pool surface area , must be reduced from the current limit of 1,700 down to 137.
  • The play gym would need to be closed due to the inability to properly control social distancing on the stairways and walkways as well as difficulty sanitizing touch points.
  • The raft slide would need to be closed due to the inability to sanitize each tube between users.
  • Additional staff would be required to maintain the stringent cleaning and sanitizing routine as well as maintain social distancing throughout the facility and water.
  • Modifications would need to be made to allow for proper social distancing of employees while on break or while eating.
  • Elimination of the self-serve aspect of the concession stand to reduce the risk of multiple patrons handling food items.

Taking these changes into consideration, updated projections were provided by Park District staff on attendance, revenue and expenses. The Lake Park Aquatic Center is projected to lose in excess of $100,000 this season.

It was a very difficult decision and one that was not taken lightly. While the potential financial loss was an important determining factor, the health and safety of customers and staff remains the top priority during this pandemic. Therefore, the Lake Park Aquatic Center will remain closed for the 2020 season. Any season pass purchased during the pre-season sale last December will be automatically carried over to 2021.

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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