By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
After being closed for several months, Palisades Charter High School’s Maggie Gilbert Aquatic Center reopened to the public for lap swimming on Thursday, October 15.
This marks the most recent progress toward reopening since the pool’s mandatory closure in mid-March due to COVID-19.
The school’s Board of Trustees took the first steps at an August 25 meeting when they voted to have Principal Dr. Pamela Magee sign a waiver and indemnify LAUSD for the purpose of reopening the Maggie Gilbert Aquatic Center.
Updated Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidance for public pools has been incorporated into Pali High’s reopening plan. Personal protective equipment, supplies and signage are procured and in place.
“The pool is a very unique situation for Pali,” Director of Operations Don Parcell explained in August.
Although LAUSD owns the ground and the land, the physical improvements at MGAC are owned by Pali High. These improvements were built and paid for largely by donations from the late Maggie Gilbert.
“We own those improvements,” Parcell said. “The pool is ours and therefore, it’s a little bit unique compared to the gym or the baseball field or the football field or any other areas or buildings around the campus.”
The center and pool will be open for limited hours Monday through Saturday for reservation-only lap swimming, according to information shared by the school. Reservations can be made online, and attendees are asked to arrive five minutes prior to their allotted start time.
Individuals are allowed five minutes for entry, 40 minutes to swim and another five minutes to exit. The 50-minute allotted time slot costs $11.
All swimmers must pass a health screening prior to entering the facility. Temperatures will be taken, and swimmers with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be granted access.
Masks must also be worn when entering and removed only when getting into the water. When entering, swimmers are asked to follow arrows on the deck and must adhere to their assigned lanes—there will be only one person assigned per lane.
If a swimmer is over 10 minutes late for their session, they will lose their lane and will not be eligible for future credit or a refund. Repeated no-shows may result in revocation of the reservation system in the future.
Parcell said no other athletic or community facilities at the school are allowed to be open at this time, “as per our landlord LAUSD.”
Parcell previously told the Palisadian-Post the pool cannot be used for any Pali High’s sports teams or for competitions at this time.
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