The Chestermere Regional Community Association (CRCA) is preparing for fall recreational opportunities while keeping users’ safety as a top priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have updated cleaning policies, we’re walking around the facility constantly cleaning and sanitizing,” said the CRCA General Manager Jody Nouwen.
Adding, “We’re making sure we have a safe, clean environment for users to rent, and we’re ensuring our customers and our staff are safe when they are in the building.”
In March, the CRCA purchased a cleaning backpack wand that is able to clean large areas quickly.
“It allows us time to get in, clean and sanitize, and get another group in a lot quicker than if we had to do it all by hand,” Nouwen said.
“We’re committed. It’s not something that we’re cutting corners on, we’re making sure that we have a safe facility for people to recreate in,” she said.
Although there isn’t currently a mandatory mask bylaw in Chestermere, the CRCA is strongly suggesting users wear a mask in the common areas, and any area where they cannot be physically distanced.
The CRCA has also loosened regulations around having one parent or guardian being able to enter the facility with their participant.
“We found that was a safety concern for a lot of parents who have young children and don’t want to leave them in the facility by themselves,” Nouwen said.
In addition to increased cleaning and sanitization protocols, the CRCA is not running regular recreation programs throughout September, including out of school care.
“It’s definitely much different than it used to be, before we would have our recreation programs starting in the fall,” Nouwen said.
“We’re taking the advantage of revaluating what our programing looks like and being able to offer more facility rentals. The spaces that were typically booked are now open for user groups to come and rent,” she said.
Due to schools not allowing recreation groups to rent the gyms in the evenings, the CRCA is now seeing an increase of groups looking to rent spaces in the facility.
“We have a lot of groups that may have not been recreating in our facility that are looking for space now,” she said.
She added, “Arenas are open, the Main Hall and MPP room are open, and we’re ready and able to take rentals.”
Although regular CRCA programs are not running as usual, the CRCA is working to ensure residents have a safe, clean facility to enjoy.
“All the groups are returning, and now it’s a matter of making sure we provide that facility and that safe space for them to come back,” Nouwen said.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming our former tenants and groups that weren’t able to come. The user groups that had to take a break because of the pandemic are starting to come back and we’re really excited to see them again,” she said.
Moving forward, the members of the CRCA are working remotely, and serving customers online at https://www.chestermerecrca.com/, or by phone at 403-272-7170.
In response to having to shut down the facility in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CRCA began renovations to the red arena, and the upstairs area on the red side, which is now in the final stages of completion.
“We reopened the arena, it’s up and running and busy, the final stage was the upstairs area where we have the dance studio and the fitness training areas,” Nouwen said.
“We were able to get working on the renovations while the facility was closed due to the pandemic,” she said.
“We took advantage of the whole facility being shut down. We were able to work much more quickly and save some money because the contractors were able to utilize the equipment in the area and move it when needed,” she added. “Whereas, if we did it in stages, that may have taken more time, and cost more.”
Without the support of the City of Chestermere, Rocky View County, and funding from the government of Alberta, the renovations wouldn’t have been possible.
“Without the grant funding in order to do the structural work, we wouldn’t be open today,” Nouwen said.
“Thank you to the community for all of their support during the renovations, COVID-19, and everything going forward,” said the CRCA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Melinda Lundy.
“We’re very grateful for their continued support, and Rocky View County, and the City of Chestermere for all of their help in making this possible. Without their assistance and the Alberta governments funding, we don’t think we could’ve done this in such a quick timeline,” she added.