RELEASE — Following the provincial government’s announcement of the move to Phase III of re-openings for most of Ontario, the YMCA of Eastern Ontario is announcing its re-opening date as September 1, 2021.
“At this time, we are evaluating and charting what our re-opening will look like,” explained Rob Adams, CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario. “Re-opening an operation like the YMCA is a complex undertaking.
As always, safety protocols must be our primary concern and we our facilities and systems have to be re-approved by public health units. In addition, staff call-backs, re-hiring and retraining is also something that needs to be carried out.” In addition to considerations about readying facilities, the YMCA is a charity and, as such, must demonstrate fiscal responsibility.
“We can only open when it makes financial sense to do so, as we cannot risk re-opening with fewer returning members than facilities like ours must have to operate. Summers are traditionally slower months, and projections indicate that our membership return rate would not be sufficient until the fall,” Adams said. “As a charity, it is particularly important that we are mindful of our fiscal responsibility. Our re-opening date on September 1 will help to ensure the long-term viability of our programs in service to our communities.”
To help plan the re-opening, the Y is asking its members to complete a survey to give feedback on such topics as programs of interest, preferred hours of access and our current online classes. Feedback will help the Y plan more effectively to meet member preferences. The deadline is July 20.
“During the closure, we have been busy operating childcare, running summer camps in three municipalities and have been providing Y services at the Prescott pool and Brockville waterfront, but we are really excited about welcoming back our members, volunteers and staff,” Adams said. “It will be great to see more people in our buildings once more.”
Membership fees, which have been frozen during the closure, will automatically begin on September 1. Information on programming, schedules and registration will be available in August.
The YMCA will be providing updates on re-opening on the news page of its website and via its social media accounts.