Willamalane Announces Temporary Closures, Furloughs 144 Employees

Nov 18, 2020

Credit Willamalane

The Willamalane Park and Recreation District in Springfield announced on Wednesday they're issuing another round of furloughs, affecting 144 employees. An official says the decision is a result of the two-week ‘freeze.'  

Willamalane Superintendent Micheal Wargo said the organization has been losing revenue since the pandemic started. While they were able to rehire some of their employees who had been furloughed due an earlier state-wide closure, the “freeze” made a bad situation worse.

“Unfortunately myself and the other leaders of the organization know I have to make a decision that we need to reduce our cost as soon as possible because we don’t have those revenues coming in and unfortunately one of our biggest expenses are guess what? Our staffing,” Wargo said.

Wargo said he understands the need for safety but it’s difficult to let people go. He adds they’re hoping and advocating for a second round of CARES Act funding, but there’s still uncertainty about when that could happen.

Willamalane Closures and Cancellations:

The following facilities will operate as follows beginning Wednesday, November 18:

  • Bob Keefer Center fitness center, multi-purpose courts, and wood courts will close.
  • Willamalane Park Swim Center will close.
  • Splash! At Lively Park will close.
  • Willamalane Adult Activity Center will close the woodshop, computer lab and gift shop (virtual gift shop will remain open).
  • Outdoor sports courts remain open.
  • Parks and playgrounds remain open.

The following Willamalane programs will operate as follows:

  • All in-person recreation programming will be cancelled or rescheduled including but not limited to group exercise, adult recreation classes, senior social activities, and water fitness classes.
  • At Willamalane Adult Activity Center, we will continue offering the following services: foot care, drive-thru senior meals, meal delivery service, LIHEAP, SHIBA, November’s community breakfast, and the book and puzzle delivery service.
  • All online and virtual programming including esports, Fitness at Home, scavenger hunt, online courses, and similar activities will continue as planned.
  • Early Childhood and Youth Programs will remain open and will operate from the Bob Keefer Center and the Adult Activity Center. This includes preschool and school-age care.
  • Some outdoor rentals will still take place, but many will be modified per our rentals team.
  • Turkey Stuffer 5K in-person event will be cancelled, however the Virtual 5K will remain open.

More info here.

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