Behind the scenes as Augusta’s Kroc Center gets ready to reopen May 4th

Community

"We were here before, we’re here during, and we’re going to be here afterwards, and we’re not going to change anything about that mission.” ~Major Douglas McClure, Salvation Army Augusta Area Commander

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– After six weeks of being closed in the coronavirus pandemic, the Kroc Community Center is ready to welcome back its members.

WJBF crews got a behind the scenes look at what it takes to get a massive community center up to strict sanitation standards set by The Salvation Army Headquarters in Atlanta and the State of Georgia, and enforced by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Once the RCSO gave the ok, we were allowed inside to see the changes members will find when they are welcomed back to the center beginning at 5:00am Monday, May 4th.

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“It’s been a several week process to get ready for this moment and to make sure we can accommodate our guests but at the same time keep people safe and healthy.”

A process that included sanitation and safety guidelines and orders set by The Salvation Army HQ and by the State of Georgia. And now they’ve gotten the thumbs-up from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. The Salvation Army gave WJBF crews got a behind the scenes look at the measure being taken.

Major Doug McClure is looking forward to those early fitness fanatics Monday morning.

“I won’t be here at 5 o’clock- too early for me!” (laughs)

“We’re gonna be eliminating two machines between each person and we’ve spread the rest of the equipment out at least 6-feet away from each other. We have equipment set up in our gym we have equipment set up in our classrooms, in our banquet halls- we’re using every square inch of our facility to allow as many members as possible.”

He say cleaning/sanitation stations are set up all around the facility. Members will need to reserve a workout time online, and they can do so 10 days out.

“We’re gonna have 2-hour blocks our members can sign up to work. And that block lasts about and hour and 45 minutes – the last 15 minutes they whole system gets cleaned and gets prepped again. Plus, we have stations all around the building that allow people to clean the equipment after everybody uses it.”

There will be forehead temperature checks at the front door. Everyone here will be wearing masks.

You’ll see furniture around the Kroc Center spaced 6-feet apart. You’ll also see a quiet and empty pool area- for now.

“We can’t have classes, we can’t have the pool, we can’t have child watch until the State of Emergency has been lifted under Governor Kemp’s Executive Order.”

As for the popular summer day camp, they’re not sure yet. Major McClure says the usual mid-May start date won’t be happening… but maybe later, depending on the Governor’s orders and how the virus is spreading.

McClure says his team’s commitment to building healthy families, a better community, and a foundation of faith has been unshakable.

“We were here before, we’re here during, and we’re going to be here afterwards, and we’re not going to change anything about that mission.”

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