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Nearly Three Months After Shuttering, The 'Y' Reopens In Eugene

Brian Bull

After 11 weeks, Eugene’s YMCA re-opened today, under new pandemic protocols.

59-year-old James Gordon-Peterson has been a Y member for 30 years. Adjusting his goggle straps, he says it’s been a spell.

“I think it was mentally taxing on a lot of folks that depend on it, just as part of their daily routine.  I certainly missed it a lot.”

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Madison Harms is a Y staffer who helps monitor compliance in the fitness machine space.

One lane separates him from another swimmer. It’s part of the social distancing Y administrators are enforcing, through monitors like Madison Harm.

“Make sure people are keeping their 25 feet like they need to, wiping down stuff, just kinda giving them reminders.”

Pre-registering is another part of the new system, explains communications manager Beth Casper.

“And then we’ve had to put some equipment away that people can’t use, because we just simply don’t have the space to spread it all 25 feet apart.”

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Beth Casper, the Eugene YMCA's marketing coordinator and communciations manager, points to the tennis area which has large fans that circulate air out of the space. She tells KLCC that's been a feature since the courts were redone in 2016.

Casper says they’ve over 2,000 active memberships. That’s roughly half the number before the pandemic hit Eugene. Y officials hope to see their memberships rebound.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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