Teton County Recreation Center

The final touches are put on the pool at the Teton County/Jackson Recreation Center before its opening in 1994. The pool will reopen in a limited capacity starting May 26, allowing eight people at a time to swim laps.

As the county inches toward reopening, Parks and Rec is ready to, as well.

Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation Director Steve Ashworth said at public meetings this week that the process will start Monday with the recreation center. But it won’t be flinging its doors open for everyone at once.

“Our plan is definitely a soft start,” Ashworth said. “What we’re proposing is the aquatic center would be open for lap swimming only, by appointment only.”

For the time being, the rec center pool will be open on a reduced schedule from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday for eight people at a time.

Swimmers looking to get their kicks will be required to reserve a lane ahead of time, either by phone or online. To do so, users will need an active account with the rec center, which can be set up online at TetonParksAndRec.org.

Pool reservations will be made in two-hour blocks, with 90 minutes reserved for swimming and 30 minutes for cleaning.

Walk-ins looking to use the pool will not be allowed.

With eight lanes in the pool, and social distancing guidelines allowing only one person per lane, eight swimmers is all it can accommodate.

The rec center’s steam room, sauna, hot tub and therapy pool will stay closed, as will locker rooms.

Swimmers are encouraged to show up with their swimsuit underneath their clothing. Changing tents will be available on the pool deck, and a press release from the department stated that restrooms will be provided for “restroom purposes only.”

Parks and Rec will also continue to offer showers to the public, a program intended to give a helping hand to people who have no home.

Between 12 and 15 people tend to use the showers daily, Ashworth said.

Locker rooms will open once the shower program ends. Ashworth said he didn’t know when that would be.

“We don’t have a magic time when we’re going to turn that off,” he said.

Camping in the rec center parking lot will remain off-limits until at least June 8, after which the plan is to open it solely to staff for the department’s summer camp.

Ashworth said Parks and Rec will run a “modified” summer camp program based on feedback from parents who “need a place for their kids to go so they can get back to work.”

He also said that all public restrooms around town should be open in the coming week, including those at boat ramps, athletic fields and county parks.

Ashworth said the planned cleaning for those facilities would be sufficient in the COVID-19 era.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or barnold@jhnewsandguide.com.

Teton County Reporter

Previously the Scene editor, Billy Arnold made the switch to the county beat where he's interested in exploring Teton County as a model for the rest of the West. When he can, he still writes about art, music and whatever else suits his fancy.

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