For the second time this calendar year, the Farragut Community Center is opening its doors to the public — but this time with COVID-19 Knox County Health Department guidelines in place, and an even more concerted effort on cleanliness.
The Center re-opened this past Monday, June 1 — as did Town Hall — under Phase 2 of the Knox County Re-Opening plan, offering a new schedule of limited attendance classes and “safe by-appointment basketball and pickleball sessions,” according to a press release.
The Parks & Recreaction department purchased a Clorox 360 machine, which is being utilized to sanitize Community Center surfaces. Additionally, a fogger has been ordered “that can be used at night or in the morning in each of the classrooms and other locations,” Parks & Rec director Sue Stuhl said.
“In addition, we have extra protocols for the cleaning that will be done, including a cleaning between users of the gym — that is why we are doing open gym by appointment — classrooms and the assembly hall,” she added.
“There are also cleaning supplies (paper towels and disinfectant) in each of the public rooms for users if they want extra protection and hand sanitizer at the main check-in area.”
The locker room portion of the restrooms are closed during this phase as an added protection. Additionally, face coverings are required in Community Center hallways and at the registration desk.
New classes, in which class sizes are extremely limited, include a “bring your own lunch and learn” on Keeping Mentally Fit on Monday, June 15; Essential Oils, Skin Safe Summer on Monday, June 22; and a “Make and Take Summer Ladybug Basket on Tuesday, June 23. (See the current schedule at farragutparksandrec.org/programs-events.)
Two pickleball courts may be reserved during two sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, limited to four players on each court.
Two basketball courts can be reserved during two sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays, with a limit of six players on each court.
The entire gym also can be reserved for full-court play with the total number of players being limited to six. However, no spectators will currently be allowed during scheduled games.
Courts may be reserved by calling 865-218-3376. No drop-ins are allowed, and regular gym rates of $2 per person and a “for now” reduced rate of $5 per family will apply.
“Just like everybody else, we’re very excited about resuming some of our regular activities, although we’ve definitely made some changes in order to keep everything safe,” said Wendy Smith, Town Public Relations and Marketing coordinator. “We’re keeping class sizes small in order to give everybody plenty of space, and our basketball and pickleball rental opportunities are designed for very small groups and families.
“Participants will have to call ahead to reserve gym space, but we think it will be worth the extra effort to enjoy indoor sports again,” she added.
Positive outlook, information
“The community center got shut down just a few days after we opened, so it will be wonderful to welcome the community back.”
“The Town staff understand that our residents are anxious to get back to some type of ‘normal’ and we hope to achieve this in a safe way by offering alternatives to our traditional classes and open gym activities,” Stuhl added.
“We would love to see our citizens back at the Community Center — we missed them these past few months,” she added.
Current hours are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays and Thursdays, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
For complete details on the reopening of the Town’s parks, Community Center and athletic fields, please visit farragutparksandrec.org.