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Virginia Beach rec centers fully re-opening in June

After nearly a year under limitations and restrictions, community centers feel like they've reached the end of a long road.

It's been 50 long weeks for Anthony Taylor, recreation supervisor at the Kempsville Rec Center.

"The most challenging part was making sure we were adhering to everything the state told us to do," says Taylor, referencing hourly cleanings, 10 feet of distance between equipment, and the cancellation of classes and programs. 

Fifty weeks ago, Virginia Beach rec centers started assigning limited workout slots, creating a sign-up system instead of the usual show-up and scan method. 

"Everyone's really excited to get back, it's wonderful timing," Taylor says with a smile on his face. 

It's certainly wonderful timing for Patrick O'Connor, whose remote work schedule made reserving slots more difficult.

"I think it's fantastic. It will increase the likelihood of me coming. I work from home, sometimes it's about me finding that spot in the day when I can go, that would be tremendously helpful," he says, still out of breath from his latest workout. 

Ana Dorsey has lived in Kempsville since 1996, the rec center has long provided more than a spot in the day for her family. "My kids grew up here, the youngest two went to daycare here, summer camps here, my youngest is 28 now and he prefers it here as well."

According to Taylor, many of those children's programs will still require masks, but for regular activities, masks are no longer required if fully vaccinated.

"If not fully vaccinated, we ask that you do wear a mask," asks Taylor. 

The mask mandate will be lifted June 1, as will capacity and equipment limitations, and weight room and pool reservations. The gymnasium and activities that come with it are open again too. 

Day passes to Virginia Beach recreation centers will be available starting July 1.