The weather cooperated for the official opening of the Martensville Aquatic Centre on Saturday, July 4th. Due to restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, the opening was delayed until approval from the provincial government was given.
Typically, the pool allows a capacity of up to 365 individuals; however, this year there is a strict capacity of 100 people at a time in place. City of Martensville Director of Recreation & Community Services Ted Schaeffer explained that the system in place is much like the set-up at many retails stores. “We have someone at the door counting as people come in, and once we hit capacity, we can’t let anyone else in until someone leaves.”
This year, the public swimming is set up in three hour time blocks. Once the three hours is up, everyone clears out and a thorough sanitization is done before beginning the next set of either public swim or lessons.
With the 100 person capacity in place, the City of Martensville has modified the structure when it comes to public swim and now those wishing to take part can pre-register online. The pre-registration is in place for the first 50 people, and after that, it is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Public swimming will take place from 1:15pm-4:15pm each day of the week and 4:45pm-7:45pm on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. “By going in and registering in advance, you can guarantee your access to public swim. We are only letting people book three days in advance and we know that it will be challenging to get into the pool this year with limited capacity, but this allows people the chance to get in when they want to go and also leaves access to the people that don’t want to make that decision in advance,” Schaeffer said.
Those entering the pool will be required to follow physical distancing protocols, take a cleaning shower before entering the pool and adhere to all Public Health mandated guidelines. The City is also asking people to come prepared to swim to reduce any crowding in the change room areas.
There is a staff member present that will be dedicated to cleaning commonly touched surfaces such as; washrooms, handrails on slides, picnic tables, etc. That person will also be reminding those at the pool to maintain proper physical distancing. Schaeffer also noted that they did extra work around the pool to indicate the importance of physical distancing with marks 6 feet apart anywhere where lineups could occur.
The set-up for swimming lessons changed slightly this year as well. Previously, five lessons could take place at one time, whereas this year, they had to lower that number to four, with two in the lane pool and two in the leisure pool. “In doing this, we can ensure that those taking lessons are able to spread out more to maintain physical distancing while still partaking in lessons.”
“Although things are different this year, we want to try to give as many people the opportunity to use the Aquatic Centre as possible.”
For more information on the Aquatic Centre, or to book online, visit martensville.ca.