Englewood waiting to reopen public facilities

Pirates Cove, rec centers, library still can’t welcome in-person visitors

Joseph Rios
jrios@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/19/20

Like almost everywhere else now, life is different at the Englewood Public Library. As a result of COVID-19 precautions, rather than being able to go inside and explore library’s books and DVDs, …

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Englewood waiting to reopen public facilities

Pirates Cove, rec centers, library still can’t welcome in-person visitors

Posted

Like almost everywhere else now, life is different at the Englewood Public Library.

As a result of COVID-19 precautions, rather than being able to go inside and explore library’s books and DVDs, residents can schedule curbside pickup times through the internet or by telephone to utilize the library’s collection.

Live story time, where Englewood librarians would read books to children, has moved to Facebook Live and has been well attended, according to Mark Mullis, Englewood’s new library and cultural arts manager.

The city has been utilizing Zoom for its Teen Hangouts, a service the library launched before the pandemic, in which teenagers gathered weekly for board games, crafts and more. The teenagers have gotten creative and launched EPL Teen Quaranzine, an online blog that features stories from participants in Teen Hangouts.

For the time being, Englewood’s library is going to continue to offer curbside and remote services as city officials ponder when to open the library to the public again. There is not a set reopening date for the library, according to Christina Underhill, director of parks, recreation and library.

“It’s a challenge because of the amount of cleaning. In libraries, there are a lot of different touch points,” said Underhill. “The biggest concern is trying to keep facilities clean and safe.”

The library’s next venture will be to work to connect people to information and resources such as government programs, public assistance and more. The library is also working to offer to-go crafts to create projects with library staff.

“We think it’s important to maintain a continuity of service. We think that is important to the emotional and psychological well-being of the community,” said Mullis. “The library plays a role in building community, and we want to make sure that continues for everyone in Englewood. We want to do everything we can to maintain a sense of normalcy — but also connect people to resources they need.”

The city’s Malley Senior Recreation Center and main Englewood Recreation Center have also moved their services to virtual platforms, as rec centers are still closed under Colorado’s safer-at-home order.

Englewood has been offering virtual recreation classes such as yoga, belly dancing and Zumba to residents.

“While we miss the face-to-face connection, at least we’re getting people active and doing something other than just sitting at home. The virtual side has been beneficial to help people get through this,” said Underhill. “We’re being patient, and we wish we could reopen our doors right away.”

The Malley center is also still carrying out its Volunteers of America lunch program to residents by offering curbside pickup.

“We know (seniors are) the most vulnerable population. We’re not rushing to reopen — we’re just trying to be creative to still offer programs,” said Underhill.

Pirates Cove ‘tentative’

Pirates Cove Water Park in Englewood is a popular destination for residents throughout the Denver metro area where families can swim, relax and have fun at the water park’s attractions.

Normally the water park opens on May 23, but as of May 14, Englewood is targeting a June 7 reopening date.

“(June 7 is) extremely tentative,” said Underhill.

Public pools in Colorado remain closed under the state’s safer-at-home order.

Brad Anderson, senior facility supervisor for aquatic programs for Englewood, said the city started hiring employees for Pirates Cove back in January.

If it can open again, Pirates Cove will enforce COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Tri-County Health Department, which covers Arapahoe, Douglas and Adams counties.

“We’re monitoring the ever-changing environment, and we’ll make sure the guests and staff are safe in all of our facilities,” said Anderson.

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