The Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre is set to re-open Wednesday (Feb. 10), after being closed for months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the City of Surrey announced that the facility would re-open Feb. 9, but the re-opening date was contingent on a further update from the provincial government, and the state of COVID-19 cases in the region. On Friday, the provincial government announced that current restrictions – which have banned gatherings and essentially suspended all competitive athletics aside from physically distances practice sessions – would remain in place indefinitely.
However, in a corporate report published Monday, the city, citing a reduction of new cases in the Fraser Health Authority, as well as demand for aquatic, recreational and library services, and success of existing safety measures at open facilities, announced the re-opening of the Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre.
The pool, located at 16855 24 Ave., has been closed since March of last year. The South Surrey Indoor Pool remains closed.
The Clayton Community Centre and Library will also open Wednesday, the report notes.
Service levels at both sites will be “Level – 1 Modified Business Services” according to the memo.
Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre will be open for use by aquatic sport clubs on Wednesday, while pre-registered weight-room use will be available beginning Feb. 11 and pre-registered public swimming will begin Feb. 13.
A number of protocols will be in place, including: aquatic sport groups will have separate entrances from the public use, as well as designated washroom and holding areas; staggered start times will be in place “to support physical distancing” and to ensure safe movement between user groups.
Aquatic sport group activity must also focus on skill development, per Phase 2 of the ViaSport BC guidelines.
At the Clayton Community Centre, the recreation area will open with “limited programming” and weight-room use will be available Feb. 11. Fitness classes and “select gym sport activities” will begin Feb. 22, and spring-break camp opportunities will be offered from March 15-26 “to support families in the Clayton Heights Community” the report states.
The library will open with the same hours and services as existing Surrey Library branches, with the exception of the Port Kells Library, according to the city. Hours will be 60 per cent of pre-pandemic hours, with the following services available: holds, pickups and limited browsing of shelves; computer access; Wi-Fi use with own devices; printing and limited patron assistance at the service desks. Visitors will also be required to wear masks, and visits are limited to less than one hour.
The reopening of the Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre has been pushed back numerous times since last fall. Originally, it and other recreational facilities in the city were to open in a “phased approach” beginning with the Surrey Sport and Leisure Complex, which opened in October.
However, other facilities remained closed for months – something the city attributed to a rise in COVID-19 cases from late fall through January.