By Amanda Ensinger
A local township is optimistic that it will be able to reopen facilities and continue with some activities as planned. With the closure of several outdoor community pools this summer, the Prairie Township Community Center plans to open its indoor pool.
Michael Pollack, director of the community center, said one advantage the township has is that its pool can open anytime of the year as opposed to outdoor pools that only open for a short period of time. Communities like Hilliard have closed their pools for the summer.
“The outdoor pools are only open for three months a year and if they don’t open at the beginning of their season, it doesn’t make sense for them to open,” said Pollack. “Memorial Day is a big day for outdoor community pools, so if they can’t be open by that date, it would be hard for them to open later in the season.”
Pollack said the township’s pool doesn’t have this sense of urgency and can open in late summer or even the fall because it is inside.
“We don’t have to worry about different seasons; that is the advantage of having an indoor pool,” Pollack said. “However, when we do reopen, we may have to limit how many people can be in the building or the pool. We may have very limited capacity numbers, so we will have to figure that out once we get the OK to reopen.”
The township hopes to reopen the pool when the community center opens, but officials will have to wait until Ohio Governor Mike DeWine gives them more direction.
Pollack hopes to start registering students for summer swim classes in May if they are provided direction on when they can reopen. However, the center will not start swim registration until officials know when they can reopen.
Pollack also gave an update on full-time and part-time employees working at the community center.
“We still have our five full-time community center staff working,” Pollack said. “The center is closed and everyone is working from home.”
Pollack said if you call the community center and leave a message, the voicemail is sent to staff and they return all calls from home. However, Pollack said some maintenance staff and part-time employees are still working to clean the building.
“We are still waxing, painting, polishing and doing other much-needed maintenance and deep cleaning,” Pollack said. “We also are working on landscaping and other outdoor cleanup. We are being very productive.”
The community center is offering 7 to 8 shifts a week for part-time employees. These employees are getting about 12 hours a week. Pollack added that the part-time staff the township has had to furlough plan on coming back once the center reopens.
“We aren’t concerned about hiring once the center reopens, most of our employees are eager and excited to come back,” Pollack said. “I don’t foresee hiring being an issue once we reopen as most of our staff voluntarily were furloughed and were OK with being off work for a while.”