Prairie Township Community Center tries to keep residents engaged

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

A local township is figuring out creative ways to continue to engage residents, while also ensuring they are safely social distancing. The Prairie Township Community Center announced a variety of fun fall activities aimed at attracting visitors to the center.

Among the activities taking place includes painting classes, virtual programming and socially distanced group classes.

“We had several activities that were postponed that we are now offering, including karate classes,” said Michael Pollack, director of the community center.

Some of the other activities the center is having include a gardening class, a virtual costume contest, a virtual yard decorating contest, a winter day camp and group fitness classes like line dancing, aerobics, and yoga.

“When possible, we are having activities outside to keep socially distanced,” Pollack said. “When we are having classes inside, we are reducing our capacity in the classes to ensure we are spacing people out.”

Pollack added that the community center is continuing to look COVID-19 cases now that schools are reopened and if numbers continue to go down, they will look at other activities they can offer at the center.

“We really have to look at what we can offer while keeping people socially distanced, such as art, sports and fitness classes,” he said. “Some of the traditional activities we have offered in the fall and over the holidays we just can’t do, so we are looking for other creative things we can do to fill that void.”

The center still has limits on how many people can come in at one time, however according to Pollack, they have not had an issue accommodating members with this limited capacity and have not had people waiting to get in.

The community center has also continued to keep their pool closed and does not have a timeline when it will reopen.

“We do not have a set date for the pool reopening at this time,” said Rob Peters, administrator for the township. “The community center opened on June 1 following COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Ohio Health Department. Our staff have been adding fitness programming and has reopened the Prairiedise childcare room. We will continue to add programs and facility use with our members safety in mind. “

The township is considering other ways they can utilize the community center while areas sit unused. One of the ideas include hosting township meetings there when regulations loosen around the amount of people that can attend meetings.

“After reviewing the guidelines, we will determine if we are able to meet in the Administration Building meeting room,” Peters said. “If we cannot comply with the guidelines or are expecting a larger than usual attendance, we would move the meetings to the community center due to having larger rooms.”

According to Peters, the large gathering health order limits gatherings to 10 or less is still in effect.

“We will meet with in-person public attendance and participation when the large gathering health order is lifted or guidelines for public meetings are issued similar to the restaurant and retail guidelines,” he said.

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