Oak Bay Recreation Centre on Bee Street is reopening in stages, starting June 22. In mid-March Oak Bay closed all recreation facilities due to a COVID-19 outbreak. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay to reopen recreation centres in stages

Fitness programs and gym opening, but no drop-ins or swimming

With no new cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island in a month, and with businesses and amenities reopening, so too are municipalities beginning to reopen recreation centres.

The District of Oak Bay’s municipal hall remains closed, likely for June, says the Mayor Kevin Murdoch. However, on Monday Oak Bay released a series of dates for the reopening of daycare and recreation centres since they closed in mid-March.

It starts with the June 15 opening of the Paddington Station Day Care in the Neighbourhood Learning Centre, which is part of the new Oak Bay High building.

Over the course of the next two weeks, limited services will reopen at each of the Oak Bay recreation facilities, with all of it by pre-registration. No drop-ins.

On June 22, the weight room and fitness studio at Oak Bay Recreation Centre will reopen, but for pre-registered access only.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay closes recreation centres due to COVID-19 pandemic

Registration is open for summer day camps which begin June 29 at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre, Oak Bay Recreation Centre, Windsor Pavilion and Henderson Recreation Centre.

Starting June 29, there will also be limited indoor fitness programs at Oak Bay Rec., Windsor Pavilion, Monterey Recreation Centre and Henderson Recreation Centre. That includes personal fitness training and small group circuit training at Henderson and wellness, fitness and art programs re-starting at Monterey.

Takeout food services will also start at Monterey.

Oak Bay Recreation’s ice rink will open at the end of June for limited lessons, private lessons, pre-registered open skates and sport programs, but also for private rentals.

Keep in mind there will be new protocols for staff and patrons to follow, Murdoch noted, adding B.C. and Oak Bay are still in a state of emergency.

That means municipal hall remains open only by appointment, though there are plans in place to full reopen this summer, possibly in July, Murdoch said. In the meantime, municipal hall remains an emergency operations centre, which means the council meetings and committee of the whole schedule are booked intermittently as special meetings.

READ MORE: Oak Bay playgrounds reopen, temporary trash dropoff closes

“As long as the province is in a state of emergency we’ll have an EOC,” Murdoch said.

The District has set up an online method for those who need to claim their homeowner grant.

“If you don’t have access to the internet we will help, we do have scheduled appointments, just phone municipal hall,” Murdoch said. “We are trying to take advantage of this opportunity to shift habits towards online transactions.”

The grants can be claimed online here.

As for the Oak Bay Recreation swimming pool, it might be one of the last things to reopen as Oak Bay awaits guidelines from the province which are still being developed.

“There are a lot of people asking, but swimming pools are one of those things that we just don’t know about yet,” Murdoch said.

To book space at a recreation centre visit oakbay.ca/parks-recreation or call reception staff at 250-595-7946.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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