File photo by ADVOCATE staff Red Deer’s outdoor pool will not open this summer, and the fate of spray parks is uncertain as the city continues measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Red Deer’s outdoor pool will not open this summer, camps are cancelled, rec facilities remain shut

Community rec centres are not to open until Phase 3 of provincial relaunch

All City of Red Deer recreation facilities — including the outdoor pool and spray parks — will remain closed this summer, and all camp programs have been cancelled to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

City-owned recreation facilities will remain closed for the foreseeable future, following the release of Alberta’s relaunch strategy, which identifies the reopening of community recreation facilities in Stage 3.

At this time, no date has been identified for when Stage 3 will start, but the city will be following provincial guidelines and recommendations, said Karen Mann, the city’s emergency operations centre director.

The extended closure impacts summer programming, including camps offered at City of Red Deer-owned facilities.

While all current summer programs have been cancelled, the city is exploring options for modified programming in some areas.

“We do not yet know what that might look like, but any (options) will be promoted through the city’s website,” said Mann.

Registrants for summer programs will automatically be refunded or have their account credited.

The outdoor pool at the Recreation Centre will not open for the 2020 season. Mann said this decision was made in alignment with provincial direction, and with consideration for “the financial risk and viability stemming from a mid-season opening.”

“The safety of both residents and staff continue to be our top priority,” said Mann.

“We are working to ensure that our programs and facilities are ready to welcome residents when it is safe to do so.”

Opening of outdoor water features such as spray parks and Discovery Canyon are also included in Stage 3 of the provincial relaunch strategy.

“We originally stated recreation facilities may reopen June 30; however, with the province announcing recreation facilities and other recreation amenities must remain closed until Stage 3, the city is required to keep many facilities closed or to further delay openings,” said Mann.

“City staff are working hard to re-evaluate operations over the next few months as we navigate these uncertain times.”

Closures affect the Collicutt Centre, Recreation Centre, Michener Aquatic Centre, G.H. Dawe Community Centre, Intermediate School (including Culture Services), Great Chief Park and Setters Place, Servus Arena, Kinsmen Community Arenas, Kinex Arena, Memorial Centre, Festival Hall, Pidherney Curling Centre, Northside Community Centre, Edgar Athletic Fields and all community activity centres.

Programming including equestrian services at Heritage Ranch.

Neighbourhood sport fields are still open for spontaneous use, but organized and major sporting events are not permitted until Stage 3.

Anyone with questions about these changes is encouraged to contact the city for more information. Questions about rentals or bookings can be directed to facilitybookings@reddeer.ca.

Questions about program refunds can be emailed to looknbook@reddeer.ca.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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