While the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center in Santa Maria will remain closed
for at least another week, the city’s Recreation and Parks Department just unveiled another athletic option for those looking to stay fit.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DENNIS SMITHERMAN
GETTING FIT While Santa Maria’s Paul Nelson Aquatic Center (pictured) will remain closed for a bit longer, the city’s Hagerman Sports Complex is back open for patrons to utilize on a reservation-only basis.
The Hagerman Sports Complex reopened Jan. 12 on a reservation-only basis, a city statement said. Local teams will be able to utilize the sports fields for training and conditioning (games are not yet permitted), and newly constructed pickleball courts are now open for reservations as well.
“It’s a combination of the pickleball courts being ready for play, and that the goal of the Recreation and Parks Department is to provide opportunities for people to remain active and stay fit,” Public Information Manager Mark van de Kamp said of why the city decided to reopen the complex.
Recreation Services Manager Dennis Smitherman said the city is doing everything it can to keep patrons at the facility safe.
“Pickleball is one of those sports that allows for social distancing,” he said. “There’s not a lot of doubles played, it’s usually singles, and then of course following all the guidelines that are required.”
Van de Kamp said the courts have been in the works for more than a year, and that pickleball is growing in popularity on the Central Coast.
“So having a number of courts available is terrific,” he said. “I know that the city of Solvang is working on building some pickleball courts at its Hans Christian Andersen Park, though it's still looking for some donations to complete the construction. … So this is sort of another indication of the popularity.”
Smitherman said anyone interested in reserving a pickleball court or participating in a different COVID-19-safe activity should head to the sign up page
on the Recreation and Parks Department website. The Hagerman Sports Complex requires a $3 registration fee. The department also continues to offer small group activities like tennis lessons, taekwondo, and self defense classes, Smitherman said.
The Paul Nelson Aquatic Center was originally slated to remain closed until Jan. 14 due to a number of COVID-19 cases among staff, but Smitherman said it will be a bit longer before the pool reopens.
“Looking at the current numbers, we’re going to go ahead and hold off on the reassessment until next Thursday [Jan. 21],” he said. “So the pool will remain closed for at least one more week and then we’ll reassess then.” Δ