"When COVID hit [during] spring break, we had an opportunity where we had to shut the rec center down for a little bit, and we just kind of started to re-envision the space," Parks & Recreation Director Shane Mize said in a city video. "You know, what this place would look like—almost like a rec center 2.0."
During the first phase of reopening, which begins Sept. 25, residents will utilize the back entrance of the center, where automatic doors help promote no-contact use. Plexiglass screens surround the front desk area, and reservations are made online. Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the facility, and staff come in to sanitize between sessions on the track and within the fitness room.
The main question about reopening, Mize said, was how to best serve the city's population as they return to the recreation center. A computer lab has been added to the lobby as well as to the senior activity room, while senior-based activities have been concentrated to assist with social distancing measures.
"We've tried to cultivate community in a comfortable setting where they see fit," Mize said.
The Pflugerville Recreation Center will reopen its lobby, fitness room, changing facilities and indoor walking track to the public Sept. 25. Ahead of its reopening, take a sneak preview at changes underway.
While certain components of the recreation center will be operational Sept. 25, other amenities—including the senior activity room, game and meeting areas, the multipurpose room and the gym—will remain closed for the time being. A limited number of spots will be available each hour for residents to reserve, as will a handful of slots open to walk-ins.
The center's fitness room will allow a maximum of eight people in the space at a time, with six reserved and two open slots offered. Masks are required while moving throughout the recreation center, but use is not enforced during active exercise.
To comply with social distancing provisions administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain pieces of equipment have been blocked off from visitor use.
As part of the facility upgrades, Pflugerville Parks and Recreation staff have added televisions to the fitness room and reformatted the equipment for a more cohesive and accessible space.
Using funds from the department's recreation budget, staff began repainting the facility in mid-April during the closures to reflect a cohesive palette of blue, green and orange.
While not yet open to the public, the center's gaming room aims to provide a multigenerational space for visitors to enjoy. Planned additions include flat-screen TVs and equipment for esports, and ping-pong and billiards tables are available for use.
For new and seasoned gamers alike, the space also includes arcade games for users to enjoy.
While the gym currently remains closed to the public, the center's indoor track reopens Sept. 25. A maximum of 15 people can use the space during a given time slot.
Parks department staff will also have t-shirts available for purchase with a design featuring Lake Pflugerville, the Green Red Barn and the city's staple water tower.