Media outlets have recently picked up on the late July news from the Vancouver Park Board that community centres would be reopening in September for PRIORITY programming. The news outlets did not pay attention to the word priority! Yes, the centres are starting to open, but slowly and with an emphasis on priority programs. At each stage of reopening the community centres the Park Board must reach out to the City to seek approval of the program area and to secure the necessary funding to service the building areas that will be used. Community Centre Associations, which hire instructors and deliver programs, are working cooperatively with the Park Board to bring back those programs that Vancouver residents have identified as highest priority. Services for other program areas will follow.
At this time, funding and facility service staffing have been secured for the following program areas:
1. Outdoor summer day camps during July and August
2. Outdoor adult recreation during August
3. Daycare and preschool starting in early September (at Kerrisdale, Little Owls Preschool will begin operations on Sept. 14, 2020)
4. Priority seniors programming will begin in September
5. Lunch services will begin in September at the Seniors’ Centres at Kerrisdale and Killarney
6. Youth outreach services will begin at seven Vancouver east-side community centres
7. The Park Board and community centres that operate fitness rooms (and / or arenas) are now developing plans to open these facilities.
For each of the program areas noted, detailed safety plans must be developed and implemented to ensure social distancing or alternative Covid-19 controls are maintained. At Kerrisdale, the Little Owls Preschool will open as a stand-alone operation with separate entries and wash-room facilities. The Kerrisdale Seniors’ Centre will open, with established traffic flow and occupancy, independently, and in isolation from, the rest of the community centre. Work is underway to define the format and capacity of the Kerrisdale Seniors’ Lunch program. In September, a limited number of priority programs will be offered.
All newly activated programming will be started in compliance with Provincial Health Guidelines. As the Kerrisdale Community Centre slowly reopens you will encounter newly established occupancy limits for individual programs, mandated traffic flow patterns, health checks, and other controls (eg, hand sanitizers). An enhanced cleaning regime will be in place. Once opened, it is quite likely that access to the weight rooms and stretch room (fitness centre) will be by appointment.
Below please find information on the reopening of Vancouver community centres as released by the Park Board. As new programming becomes accessible, the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society will update our website to keep you informed.
Robert Lockhart, President
Kerrisdale Community Centre Society