Papillion Landing Recreation Center will partially reopen Monday after being closed due to the coronavirus. The facility was forced to shut its doors after having only been open for two months.

“It was really super fun for us to see how much people were enjoying this facility,” Papillion Recreation Director Lori Hansen said. “To have to turn it off so abruptly just kind of breaks my heart.”

Deciding when to reopen was difficult, Hansen said. They kept in mind the safety of patrons as well as the staff’s and facility’s needs. After much consideration, they’ve announced the facility will gradually start reopening for individual workouts and rentals only with some additional restrictions.

Not including staff, 50 people will be allowed to occupy the building at one time. Patrons will be limited to one-hour workouts since fewer people are allowed in at one time.

Papillion Landing, located at 1046 W. Lincoln St., will close two hours earlier than before the closure: 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 p.m. on weekends.

The fieldhouse, batting cages and indoor turf will be available for rental, but fewer people will be allowed to occupy them, she said.

Once the facility reopens, Hansen said staff will regularly evaluate whether to reopen other parts of the building or begin programs. If visitors adhere to government guidelines, she said they may reopen other parts sooner or expand the capacity if allowed.

Annual memberships will be reactivated when patrons visit the facility and Hansen said memberships will be extended by the amount of the time facility was closed plus one extra month added as a “thank you.” If patrons decide not to reactivate their memberships right away, she said those unused months will also be added on to the end of their memberships.

“We’re trying to be as fair as we possibly can and thankful for people hanging in there with this inconvenience,” Hansen said.

Once open, Hansen said staff will be required to wear masks when interacting with patrons. While visitors are not required to wear masks, she said they’re encouraged to. Temporary masks will be available.

Since masks aren’t required, Hansen said staff will need to ensure everyone feels safe.

“It’s like anything right now; there are people that are super vigilant about making sure they are caring about how they’re taking care of themselves during COVID, and there are people that are less concerned,” Hansen said.

Hand sanitizer stations were installed throughout the gym. When patrons check in, they’ll be given a sweat towel, disinfectant towel and a spray bottle of cleaner. Hansen said patrons need to spray the equipment before and after using it.

Staff and custodians will also clean the equipment regularly. Before reopening, staff will be taught proper safety protocols. In addition, new large electronic disinfectant machines will spray the machines, Hansen said.

Having to close so soon after opening was disappointing, Hansen said. She anticipates it posing challenges when reopening as well, such as with staff members hired just before the facility opened. Hansen said they’ll be retrained.

Despite the circumstances of its reopening, Hansen said she’s excited to get going again.

“I’m most excited to see life back in this building,” Hansen said. “I’m sick of looking at an empty parking lot.”

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.