Greensboro Aquatic Center Sets June 1 for Limited Reopening

greensboro-aquatic-center-pool
Greensboro Aquatic Center

Greensboro Aquatic Center will reopen on a limited bases next Monday, June 1, bringing back online one of the nation’s biggest aquatic facilities.

The opening will be under conditions, with training limited to small groups and walk-ins not allowed at the four-pool complex. The opening will proceed according to a 27-page set of guidelines published on the GAC website.

“The term I’m using is ‘baby steps,’” GAC manager Susan Braman told The News & Record. “We’re really opening under what looks more like a Phase One for other businesses, even though (the state is) in Phase Two. We’re keeping group sizes at 10 or less. … We are excited to finally have that light at the end of the tunnel and open up the aquatics center. But it will be very limited use. We’re being very cautious.”

The GAC hosts seven year-round swim, water polo and diving clubs. It also accommodates members for fitness and lap swimming. All of those programs will continue under certain conditions. The center has been closed since the middle of March, just before it was scheduled to host the cancelled NCAA Division III Championships.

Among the rules:

  • Swimmers distanced at one per lane, with staggered entry
  • Maximum group size of 10 swimmers
  • The interim capacity is 278 people in the 100,800 square feet of guest-accessible space
  • Separate entry/exit locations for each of the GAC’s four pools with designated locker rooms
  • All purchases and sign-ups must be set up online
  • Adult lap swimming (with advance reservation) and some water fitness programs will also return

The Greensboro Aquatic Center plans to increase maximum group size from 10 (plus one coach) to 20-25 people on June 8, subject to guidance by the state.

Though it’s a small step forward, many are excited about the chance to get back to workouts.

“Everybody is excited about getting back in the water and having that opportunity after the last 2½ months,” STAR Aquatics founder Jay Dodson said. “We’re a small business like every other small business out there, and it’s been a challenge. We’ve done a lot of Zoom meetings and interactive stuff to keep our kids engaged, but it’s just not the same as being in the pool.”

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