Gahanna Parks and Recreation personnel are focusing on programming for later this summer, following the decision to keep pools closed this season.

The city announced May 29 that Gahanna Swimming Pool, 148 Parkland Drive, and Hunters Ridge Pool, 341 Harrow Blvd., would remain closed because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

"We want to thank our community for being supportive and understanding throughout this incredibly difficult situation," said Stephania Bernard-Ferrell, parks and recreation director. "Although this is not what we had anticipated for this year, it is the right thing to do for the well-being and safety of our community and our team members."

After an extensive review of the safety precautions required to open pools, a city press release stated a path couldn't be found that would have enabled the pools to operate in a manner that would ensure the safety of guests and staff while providing an enjoyable experience.

The release said the decision was based on guidance from Franklin County Public Health.

"This is a heartbreaking decision for our entire team, and we are painfully aware of what this means to our residents," said the release sent by Carrin Wester, city communications manager.

Bernard-Ferrell said newly issued operational protocols have mandated changes in Gahanna's original youth programming that will limit hours and reduce capacity.

"Our team has shifted focus and been working hard to be creative," Bernard-Ferrell said. "Through online activities, we have been able to adapt our programming to provide safe learning and exploration for our youth this summer.

"We are so appreciative for the support and understanding of the community and we will continue to adapt and overcome this difficult situation for everyone."

Because the pool season and camp programming won't operate as originally planned and promoted, refunds were sent to pass holders beginning May 4 for camp fees and pool memberships.

Details about programming are scheduled to be announced later this month with revised youth programming scheduled to start on July 6.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla