North Platte Rec Center set to open on Monday

Gerry Berglund, a recreation leader at the North Platte Recreation Center, touches on the set up in one of the workout rooms at the complex on Thursday afternoon. The center, which has been closed since the middle of March, will the first phase of its reopening on Monday. Members will only be allowed to workout in the dry side of the facility.

The North Platte Recreation Center will open its doors to the public Monday for the first time since the middle of March.

But those who turn up for a workout will find social distancing restrictions in place in the center due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The center will be limited to 50 patrons at one time, and will allow current members only, with no daily admission available.

Individuals will have access to just the dry side of the facility as the pool area remains closed. People will have access to five rooms for weight lifting and cardiovascular workouts, and those rooms will be limited to six to 10 individuals at one time.

The gym will be limited to 10 individuals as well, and no basketball games will be allowed, just individual shooting at the baskets.

“It will be good to have people back in here and we are ready for that,” said Gerry Berglund, a recreation leader at the Recreation Center. “Everything we’ve done is with (people’s) safety in mind.”

The center will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the general public Monday through Friday. Individuals younger than 14 will only be admitted with an adult.

A two-hour block — from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. — will be set aside each day for people who are vulnerable to serious illness to work out.

The center will be closed on the weekends, for now.

Individuals are being asked to complete their workouts within an hour. Two rooms just off the gym floor are where the majority of the free weights and resistance machines are set up, including a racquetball court that has been reconfigured. The equipment is also spaced at least 6 feet apart.

Two rooms on the second floor are established for elliptical machines or treadmills. Only about six to eight people will be allowed in each of those rooms at one time. The rooms are also set up so people will be unable to work out side-by-side on the machines.

There is a similar setup in the exercise room located just outside the pool area.

“We are just promoting the same social distancing (guidelines) like we all have been taught over the past 10 weeks,” Berglund said. “If everybody washes the equipment down, uses hand sanitizer and remains (6 feet) apart, we should hopefully be fine.”

He added that face masks are not required, and while members will still have to check in at the main desk, no individual temperatures will be taken.

“Obviously if people are not feeling well, we ask that they don’t come in,” Berglund said.

The locker rooms will be closed to public use, and only bathrooms in the main hallways will be available.

“There will be some inconveniences, but we are doing (the reopening) in phases,” Berglund said “Phase one is the dry side that we are doing. Phase two would hopefully be the pool but, again, we don’t have a date for that.”

The final phase would be resuming group exercises, including those in the water.

The center closed down at noon March 18. Berglund said individual memberships were frozen while the center was closed due to the pandemic. The memberships will kick in again when people return — whether it is next week or the individuals wait until the pool opens, or even longer.

“It is up to (those individuals),” Berglund said.

He said the center’s staff spent the last 10 weeks not only cleaning every piece of equipment but also conducting maintenance projects that usually are completed at the end of the summer, including painting gym from “floor to ceiling.”

“We’ve taken a really good advantage of this shutdown,” Berglund said. “We gave everything a good cleaning or painting. I hope the public is glad that they are back in the building, and we will be glad to see them.”

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