As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Hazard Pavilion has remained closed to the public, but city officials said they have been completing renovations in preparation for the facility's re-opening.
“We had just got through putting new equipment in the weight room just a few months when we had to shut it down,” said City Manager Derrick Hall. Since then, he said, more changes have been made and are scheduled to be made to the facility.
“We have been doing maintenance on the building,” said Hall, explaining that the spring storm caused damage to the Pavilion and took the roof off of one area. The city, he said, had a new roof installed on the Pavilion last week. Additionally, Hall said, the tennis court is being repainted. The city, said Hall, has recently received a $15,000 grant that they will be using on the Pavilion. More equipment will be installed in the facility soon, he said.
During the closure, Hall said one employee has been working general maintenance in the facility, and although the Pavilion is still closed to the public, city officials are preparing for a possible re-opening.
“We used to host birthday parties up there, they would probably have six or seven birthday parties a week,” said Hall. He continued, “We've had a lot of phone calls about getting it back open.”
One area of the Pavilion that Hall said the city is potentially going to re-open is the pool.
“Talking with all the other cities across the state, none of them have intentions of opening their swimming pool this year, but we do hope to get it open sometime this year. We're just having to follow all the guidelines submitted by the state,” said Hall.
If re-opened, visitors can not use the pool as a general swimming area, but the Pavilion staff can put lane markers in the pool for people to swim laps in every other lane.
“We're still holding off on that, but we are still maintaining the pool in hopes that we can get it opened back up,” Hall said.
When the Pavilion is re-opened to the public, said Hall, he does anticipate some changes in the hours of operation and in the services being offered at the facility in order to properly practice and enforce social distancing. Until further notice, he said, the facility will remain closed for further renovations.