The Williston ARC plans to be fully re-opened to the public by June 1.

The Williston Area Recreation Center has announced that they will be lifting more pandemic restrictions in their next phase of a soft reopening to the public.

Effective immediately, tennis, racquetball and pickleball courts are available for both singles and doubles play. Meanwhile, basketball courts can now host three-on-three games, and the indoor turf area, senior lounge room, indoor playground and meeting rooms have been opened to 50 percent capacity. The facility’s previous minimum age requirement of 12 years old has also been eliminated.

Starting on Tuesday, May 26, childcare services, aquatic classes, lap swimming and riverwalk activities are scheduled to resume. Then on Monday, June 1, the waterpark and birthday rooms are slated for re-opening. These areas of the fitness center also plan to operate at 50 percent capacity.

Additionally, the ARC’s $2 daily visit promotion will end on June 1. Truncated hours of operation will remain in place, with the facility being open Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.

According to Darin Krueger, executive director of the Williston Parks and Recreation District, now is a good time for a more extensive reopening because he has been pleased with the precautionary measures taken by both staff and visitors alike. With a fully operational target date of June 1, Krueger also indicates that registration numbers for summer camp programs have improved recently, and the re-opening of other local businesses such as bars and restaurants has been encouraging.

“I feel like our members have taken more personal responsibility to wipe down machines and practice social distancing while in the facility, and that is definitely a good thing,” the executive director tells the Williston Herald. “And I am very confident in the job our staff continues to do. They have been very diligent in sanitizing our equipment and following proper guidelines to make sure everybody can enjoy themselves while also staying safe.”

Krueger estimates the ARC currently hosts 350-400 visitors per day, down from their usually daily traffic of about 1,000 visitors. However, if there happens to be an increase in those numbers which pose a possible threat to social distancing precautions, the parks and recreation district official says he is prepared to adjust the facility guidelines as needed.

“Statewide, I think everybody has done a real good job following the rules we have in place, and I hope to see that continue, but this is a pretty unprecedented situation, so we have to be flexible,” Krueger adds. “If there are any unforeseen issues, we can revise our strategy down the line.”

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