Willamalane furloughs 144 amid freeze

Indoor facilities are closed to the public but some services and programs will continue.

Posted: Nov 18, 2020 1:22 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – A total of 144 employees with the Willamalane Park and Recreation District have been furloughed as a result of the two-week freeze.

Willamalane announced the staffing changes on Wednesday, the first day of the freeze. The furloughs are in the recreation services division and involve part-time, bargaining-unit and leadership staff. If eligible, they can participate in the state’s unemployment program or the workshare program.

"Unfortunately closures and program interruptions based on COVID case data is something we’ve had to work through several times this year. With each round of closures, we are forced to reduce staffing levels due to financial impacts they cause. This does not make these decisions any easier because they affect great people, both our staff and our community," Superintendent Michael Wargo said.

Moving forward, all indoor facilities will close to the public and many programs will be canceled. However, child care programs, parks and playgrounds, virtual programs and some essential services for seniors will remain open, officials said.

Program and facility updates:

The facilities will operate as follows beginning Wednesday, Nov. 18:

  • Bob Keefer Center fitness center, multi-purpose courts, and wood courts will close.
  • Willamalane Park Swim Center will close.
  • Splash! At Lively Park will close.
  • Willamalane Adult Activity Center will close the woodshop, computer lab and gift shop (virtual gift shop will remain open).
  • Outdoor sports courts remain open.
  • Parks and playgrounds remain open.

Willamalane programs will operate as follows:

  • All in-person recreation programming will be cancelled or rescheduled including but not limited to group exercise, adult recreation classes, senior social activities, and water fitness classes.
  • At Willamalane Adult Activity Center, we will continue offering the following services: foot care, drive-thru senior meals, meal delivery service, LIHEAP, SHIBA, November’s community breakfast, and the book and puzzle delivery service.
  • All online and virtual programming including esports, Fitness at Home, scavenger hunt, online courses, and similar activities will continue as planned.
  • Early Childhood and Youth Programs will remain open and will operate from the Bob Keefer Center and the Adult Activity Center. This includes preschool and school-age care.
  • Some outdoor rentals will still take place, but many will be modified per our rentals team.
  • Turkey Stuffer 5K in-person event will be cancelled, however the Virtual 5K will remain open.

For a full list of closures, click here.

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