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

Feb 3, 2021

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

James Gordon-Peterson dives into the pool, eager to resume his 50-lap regimen. He's been a Y member for half his life, and told KLCC he appreciates the chance to come back.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

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.”

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

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.”

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.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

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.