It's been a whirlwind of a week for staff over at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre after Premier Jason Kenney's announcement on Tuesday pushed the opening of many places, including pools and gyms from phase 3 to phase 2.
Phase 2 in the province's relaunch plan begins today.
Blair Felesky, CEO at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre says he like everyone else in the province got the news at the same time and right now they're still trying to figure out how to open their doors in a safe and timely manner.
"We'll be releasing a snapshot of our phased approach to the public probably next week. But, I can tell you early on, it's Cochrane Arena. We're going to initiate some outdoor fitness programming to get people moving again whether it's yoga or bootcamp or spin classes. That'll happen in about 10 days or so."
The Cochrane Arena opened its doors today and will see a number of user groups using the facility with strict protocol.
"As far as Totem goes we're in the process of replacing a heat exchanger in the arenas and that should be completed by the end of June and we'll have the ability to start putting ice in about the first week of July and we anticipate by about July 10 that we'll be able to add at least one ice service at the Totem rinks and depending on demand we may add a second one."
Felesky says even though they're eager to get back to the way things were, it's not that simple.
"Our greatest challenge is we have to onboard a lot of people because every rec facility across the province was thrown completely off-guard by the announcement on Tuesday. It's wonderful news but there's a level of preparedness when you go from a skeleton staff and you need to start mobilizing people again."
The big question on a lot of Cochranites minds is when will the pool reopen?
Felesky says "A number of weeks ago we made a decision to drain the pool and go into a maintenance program that we would typically go into in September. Any of our aquatics users would know that after the September long weekend we would shut down for approximately two weeks to go through the annual maintenance checks. We've accelerated that obviously, but with a skeleton team we were extending that maintenance program over a longer period of time."
He anticipates the pool being able to reopen again on about August 1.
But, in the meantime parents of young children can keep their kids cool at the spray park which is set to open on Canada Day.
"Just makes sense to us. It's on its own isolated system. We can isolate it from our pool mechanical so we can begin that on July 1. It seemed like the right day to do that with Canada Day and there's a drive-in movie night and that might be the perfect day to launch the spray park."
As far as some of the other indoor activities go at Spray Lakes, we might have to wait awhile longer.
The bouncers for instance may not open anytime soon.
He says "Bouncy castles is that high contact area that just may not make sense, at least not in the early stages."
There's a lot of questions surrounding memberships. There will be some members who aren't ready to go back to the gym especially if the part of the facility that they prefer to use isn't up and running yet.
Felesky says "If you're for instance a swimmer you may not be interested in taking a yoga class outside or a spin class but you want to wait for the pool to come online so we're sensitive to that. We will in this membership strategy allow our members to keep their membership on hold until they want to engage."
He says they plan to release more details about their phased approach to reopen the facility next week.