FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE TOWN OF TONAWANDA’S FITNESS CENTER WILL NOT RE-OPEN. BUT THE AQUATIC CENTER EYES AN OCTOBER 1ST RE-OPENING!
Today the Town of Tonawanda Youth, Parks & Recreation Department is announcing today that it will not be re-opening its Fitness Center until further notice. The Fitness Center occupies a portion of what has come to be known over the years as the Town of Tonawanda Aquatics & Fitness Center. Parks & Recreation Superintendent Mark Campanella Sr. stated that “Governor Cuomo’s recent announcement giving Gyms/Fitness Centers the green light to re-open comes with a 33% occupancy limit, social distancing, and HVAC System upgrades. We also need to weigh out the cost to upgrade the HVAC System to meet NYS Health Code Mandates. With that in mind we will be installing the MERV-13 Filters to the facilities existing HVAC System”.
The 33% Occupancy would limit the space to a total of 39 patrons and fitness staff at any one given time and makes it very difficult to operate the Fitness Room and accommodate its membership. In addition, there is the sanitizing component which takes place when the limited number of fitness machines becomes unoccupied and the sanitizing process takes place to get ready for its next use.
Covid-19 has put a strain on everyone and the YPR Department’s primary concerns are for the Health & Safety of its membership & staff and we are not willing to compromise that as COVID-19 has no boundaries or conscience. There is also a financial component that must be strongly looked at in the fitness operation; the cost of additional staffing to frequently clean and sanitize equipment, as well as the additional cost of sanitizing products.
Over the past decade it’s been very difficult, financially to operate the facility as more and more of the large corporate gyms have opened up. The COVID-19 times we find ourselves in placed an even a greater financial strain on the viability of the AFC.
Our intention right now is to re-open the Aquatics component eyeing an October 1st Re-Opening date. This is all subject to change pending another COVID-19 outbreak, and/or Town finances. With the availability of life guards at an all-time low in our region this forces us to limit the hours of operation on the Aquatics side based on the NYS Health Departments mandating the number of life guard’s needed based on the total square footage of the pool.
YPR Staff is currently looking to re-structure its membership rates with the possibility of adding some “Some Water Attractions” for children and create a “Family Friendly” Atmosphere. These are tough decisions that we are considering making here, but at the end of the Day, “YOU CAN’T SECOND GUESS HEALTH & SAFETY”!
****The YPR Department will be finalizing a refund plan for its members and they will be notified by mail and email as to the plan put into place. Thank you.