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Parts of Servus Place to open late July

City approves proposed reopening dates for rec facilities
2408 Servus roof file
Servus Place in St. Albert FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

With most of the city’s outdoor facilities now open, St. Albert's focus has now switched to offering more indoor recreation options for residents.

Servus Place's fitness centre and running track, three indoor arenas and indoor turf field are anticipated to open as early as the week of July 19. All three places will use staggered schedules to make sure crowds of people aren't entering or exiting the multiplex at the same time.

On June 29, city council endorsed proposed reopening dates from the emergency operation centre and administration.

“The fitness centre and track is one of the highest utilized indoor recreation amenities,” said Diane Enger, recreation and parks director. 

A maximum of 100 people will be allowed at the fitness centre at a time under modified hours. People will be able to drop in to use the gym, but if demand is high, people will have to book times online. No indoor fitness classes will be offered at this time.

"We are running outdoor fitness classes. We'll look to run indoor fitness classes after we open the fitness centre, possibly towards the end of August, early September," Enger said.

All equipment will be distanced two to three metres apart. Only the washrooms will be open as visitors will not have access to showers or lockers, so it's recommended people come dressed in gym clothes.

The city is planning to spend $70,000 on reopening the Servus Place fitness centre from July to September while bringing in $120,000 in revenues, though those will depend on how ready people are to return.

The one indoor turf field will be allowed to have up to 50 people on the green at a time, with no access to change rooms or showers.

People can now book times to use the field and will be responsible for following provincial health guidelines. The city hopes to see $40,000 in revenue based on existing bookings with no “significant” costs.

Ice time is in high demand during the summer as hockey camps get underway in the city.

For example, Okanagan Hockey is "keen" to move its four-week-long summer camps forward at Servus, Enger said. Hockey Alberta also released its Return to Hockey Plan last Tuesday.

To accommodate demand, the Servus Place rink is set to open the week of July 19.

Later this summer, the Jarome Iginla and Kinex Arenas are anticipated to welcome back skaters the week of August 10.

Fifty people will be allowed on a rink at a time, with the stands at 25 per cent capacity.

Dressing rooms will be open to hockey teams and other user groups, but they’ll have to shower at home. Even so, Enger said hockey players should come dressed to play.

With “significant” demand, the city is expecting to make $260,000 to $350,000 based on existing bookings and additional bookings in line with previous years. Reopening the arenas will cost the city $360,000.

Eager to get back in the water? Swimmers will have to hold off a little longer. Maintenance work at Fountain Park wraps up later this month, then pools need to be filled, staff recalled and trained, along with other measures before it can reopen.

"Then we'll be able to open to the public," Enger said.

Fountain Park aquatics and aquatics programming could start the week of August 2.

Swim lessons, lane swimming fitness classes, and family swim times will be provided with modifications. Hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms will remain closed at this time, along with viewing areas.

In total, 60 people would be allowed across all the pools at a time, Enger said. Locker rooms will be open for people to change.

"We could look to increase that capacity, but we feel 60 is a good number to start with."

No events or swim meets will be allowed during this stage of reopening.

Pool facilities are more complex and costly than other amenities, meaning there's more financial and safety risk to the city here than with other facilities, Enger said. The city is expecting to make $250,000 once Fountain Park is reopened, and spend around $1.2 million to operate it from August to December.

The rest of the city's facilities that are still in the planning stages, including the water park at Servus Place, hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms, were set to be brought back to council on July 6.