EARLY WORKOUT Centennial Recreation Center member Ethan Fry, of Gilroy, lifts weights at the facility’s outdoor gym July 28.
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Members of the City of Morgan Hill’s Centennial Recreation Center can finally get back to hitting the weights and doing some cardio, as city staff last week moved the facility’s gym equipment outdoors.

Weightlifting equipment and a group exercise area are now in the parking lot of the CRC, which is located at 171 West Edmundson Ave. Treadmills, stationary bikes and other cardio machines have been moved to an outdoor patio to the rear of the building, just outside the CRC swimming pool area.

These modifications were made last week, after Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health approved guidelines to reduce the spread of Covid-19 during outdoor activities. The guidelines include allowing gym and fitness center operators to serve their members in outdoor settings, with social distancing and face mask requirements in place.

The guidelines also include frequent cleaning and disinfecting of gym equipment and any other high-traffic areas. The morning of July 28, CRC staff and members were seen constantly spraying and wiping down equipment and weights between sets.

“I love it,” CRC member David Pride said of the new outdoor configuration. “It’s almost better than indoors—just the element of being outside.”

Pride was lifting weights with his son Brandon. The Morgan Hill family has been members of the CRC for 13 years.

CRC Associate Executive Director Jessica Redfield noted that the city’s ownership of the building and land made the outdoor expansion easier than it might be for other fitness centers. “We’re pretty fortunate to have the space we have,” she said.

CRC member Ethan Fry was also lifting weights the morning of July 28. A CRC member for two years, Fry has noticed that other gyms in the area are still not open.

The city’s website lists the new member and staff requirements at the CRC due to the Covid-19 restrictions. These include

– Mandatory reservations for use of the facility

– Verbal symptom check prior to entering the gym area

– Each member receives a disinfectant spray bottle and must clean the equipment after use

– Locker rooms are closed

– Water refill stations are not available.

Across town, the city’s members-only Aquatics Center on Condit Road is also open with pandemic restrictions in place. The facility is open for outdoor lap swim, aqua fitness, private swim lessons and more outdoor group exercise space, according to the city’s website.

YOU’VE GOT IT! Morgan Hill resident Brandon Pride does a set on the bench press while his father, David Pride, spots him July 28. 
ALWAYS CLEAN Centennial Recreation Center Wellness Coach Alex Sandoval disinfects gym equipment the morning of July 28.
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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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