Area Swimming Pools Plan Phased Re-Opening

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The Crozet Park pool opened for lap swimming only on May 23. Photo: Clover Carroll.

With temperatures warming up and Memorial Day weekend in the rear view mirror, our thoughts turn to the cool of the pool. Sadly, with the coronavirus pandemic still uncontrolled, it may be a pretty dry summer. Area lakes and pools are planning their summer operations in response to Governor Northam’s guidelines for a phased reopening of the state. 

While Albemarle County swimming lakes and Charlottesville City pools and spray parks are closed for the summer, the Crozet Park Aquatics and Fitness Center (AFC), now operated by ACAC, opened its pool for lap swimming only on May 23. “We want to do the right thing for our members, our team, and the community as a whole. Like all local organizations, we are continually monitoring guidelines from Governor Northam, the CDC, and other state and local officials,” said Susan Johnson, ACAC vice president for marketing and communications. “We will make adjustments as the situation changes.” 

The Crozet Park pool will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Visit acac.com/crozetpark, or call 434-817-2063 to join. Using Signup Genius via the ACAC app or ACAC member portal, a single lap swimmer may reserve an outdoor lap swimming lane for 30 or 60 minutes. Reservations will open three days in advance, and a $10 no-show fee will apply if your reservation is not cancelled at least three hours ahead of your scheduled time. Entry will be through the garage doors of the pool house, and members are highly encouraged to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to their reservation time to allow for health screening and check-in. ACAC team members will undergo the same health screening process before each shift. Swimmers will access odd numbered lanes from one side of the pool and even numbered lanes from the other side to preserve social distancing. 

While outdoor fitness classes, the dog park, and the perimeter trail remain open, both the upper and lower playgrounds, covered shelters, basketball courts, and public restrooms remain closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“Meanwhile, we are continuing to move forward with the renovations needed to prepare the facility for re-opening,” said Stephen Fitzgerald, site manager. Whether they will be able to open for recreational swimming in a limited capacity later in the summer is still to be determined. Email questions to [email protected]

The Old Trail Swim Club announced on Facebook that “with the current restrictions and safety guidelines put in place by the Governor and Virginia Department of Health, while also taking into account the amplitude of work that must go on behind the scenes to prepare our facility to open each year, we will at this time be unable to open the Swim Club on Memorial Day Weekend.” 

Barbara Perkins, communications director for the Old Trail Golf Club and Swim Club, explained the rationale for this decision. “The majority of our membership does not use the pool for lap swimming. We are more of a recreational/social kind of pool setting. We have yet to set a firm opening date because Phase One does not really cover these activities. We are kind of in a holding pattern based on what Phase Two will look like. We hope to reopen in June, and when that happens we will roll out a totally overhauled membership package.” 

In preparation for opening, Old Trail Swim Club staff are working behind the scenes and bringing in seasonal staff for training. They have had lengthy discussions about how to set up the pool for the season to encourage social distancing while allowing enjoyment, such as spacing out pool furniture, keeping groups separated, sectioning off pool areas and/or limiting the number of people that can be in the facility at once. “People will see activity as we physically open the pool, add chemicals, and do general upkeep,” Perkins continued. “We plan to abide by all guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health and the CDC. We want to be there for the community and hope you will visit oldtrailvillage.com or sign up for our newsletter on Facebook to stay informed of future plans.”

Sadly, Albemarle County swimming lakes—including Mint Springs, Chris Greene, and Walnut Creek—will remain closed this summer. While the parks and trails are open, all picnic shelters, grills, playgrounds, and public restrooms are closed. Sugar Hollow Reservoir is also closed. Charlottesville Parks and Recreation has closed all swimming pools, spray parks, and summer camps for now—as well as playgrounds and public restrooms—but “will monitor the situation and make an assessment on when it is safe to re-open some or all of the affected facilities/amenities.” All Charlottesville parks and trails remain open, with social distancing encouraged.  

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