The Hillcrest Aquatic Center in Brookings, which usually opens after Memorial Day, will be closed for the 2020 summer season due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.
The City says the decision was based largely on the fact that operating the Aquatic Center under COVID-19 related guidelines for sanitizing, social distancing and group size would not be cost-efficient. Also, officials say monitoring such efforts could prove to be a challenge for staff whose traditional focus is on water safety. It was not assured risk could be mitigated to the extent acceptable to staff.
Brookings’ decision is consistent with many other communities in the state and across the country.
Brookings Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Director, Dusty Rodiek said, “The safety and health of Brookings residents is our biggest concern.” Rodiek says they have a responsibility to keep residents safe and there just wasn’t a good way to ensure that and provide the same quality experience the public is used to.
Due to the pool’s closure, City staff are planning new free programming options for the summer that meet CDC guidelines.