Depending on your rec center’s location in the country, you may have already started your winter weather prep, or are about to. For Justin Holman, the associate director of internal operations for athletics and recreation at the University of Denver, snow often comes in November, so his rec center’s prep began last month.
“In Denver, we can get snow one day and the next day it’s 70 degrees, which happened last week,” said Holman. “However, snow usually starts to come around November, and our prep happens the month before.”
At the Ritchie Center, winter weather prep includes a review of extreme weather policies, making any necessary adjustments and sending reminders to part-time staff. “Our university facilities management team is really good about clearing roads and sidewalks leading into the facility,” he said. “And we don’t need to get in touch with them unless they need some extra help from us.”
In addition to reviewing extreme weather policies, staff will also review the cleaning schedule and makes changes to entrance areas due to the impact of snow and salt coming into the building. “The rugs are managed by our custodians, but we help clean them throughout the day,” elaborated Holman.
Naturally, your rec center may see a decrease of drop-in visits from patrons during the winter season, but this does not impact the number of staff Holman keeps on duty. “We have pretty good covered parking for our members with a short walk into the facility, so it is a pretty good setup to access the facility,” he said. “Sometimes local schools cancel, then we see an increase of participation in our public ice programming.”
Overall, when it comes to prepping your facility for winter weather, Holman offers two of his biggest tips to ensure everything goes smoothly. “Communication with staff who open the facility during bad weather to make sure they are planning for a longer trip in, and an increase in cleaning,” he said.