WACO, TX — The City of Waco is preparing to reopen libraries and Parks and Recreation services after they were forced to close due to COVID-19.
The Waco-McLennan County Library will open with limited hours and services as well as social distancing measures. Beginning June 15, all four locations will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Visitors will be able to browse shelves, check out material and use the computers. Curbside delivery will continue.
The Library is encouraging visitors to use the locations for a grab-and-go service, meaning browse the shelves, select items for check out and take them home to enjoy. No public seating will be available. The children's play areas, toys and games will remain unavailable.
Computers will be spaced six feet apart according to social distancing guidelines. Since fewer computers will be available, time will be limited to one hour per person per day. The Library says no extensions or exceptions will be allowed. Staff will clean the computers after each use.
Meeting, conference and study rooms will be closed to the public. Library programs and outside meetings have been canceled. The Summer Reading Club began on June 1 with online registration and special virtual programs.
Library materials should be returned to the outside book drop rather than inside the building. The Library says request for materials may be delayed because returned material will be quarantined in accordance with the American Library Association's guidelines.
The Library says staff is unable to comprehensively sanitize every single item that is checked out, handled in the libraries or returned. Visitors are encouraged to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.
The City of Waco Parks and Recreation Department is continuing its phased reopening of facilities and services. Many programs and recreation opportunities have been modified. Staff will implement measures to protect facility visitors and program participants.
The RECess! interactive summer programming launches on Wednesday, June 3. It is built to provide alternative recreation and experiences through virtual activities and at-home adventures. Each day, there will be a RECess! feature posted on the department's Facebook page focusing on arts and crafts, fitness workouts and park adventures.
A weekly list of daily activities for kids will be posted online. A packet of the activities will also be available for pick-up at our community centers.
The department's outdoor pavilions, indoor facilities and park areas are now available for rent. The department is encouraging renters to follow the public safety protocols and social distancing guidelines that are in place from the State of Texas.
The Bledsoe-Miller, Dewey and South Waco community centers will reopen on June 15 with social distancing measures in place. The centers will be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Access to certain areas of the centers and availability of community classes and meetings may be limited. The locker rooms and game rooms will remain closed until further notice.
The Harrison Center and Sul Ross Center will remain closed to senior programming until further notice.
Organized sports games and competitions can resume on city property and city facilities beginning June 15. The Riverbend Park baseball and softball complex will reopen for practices and tournaments on June 15. Teams, sports organizations and game hosts should follow public safety protocols and social distancing guidelines.
The Waco Mammoth National Monument has implemented a phased return approach in conjunction with the National Park Service. The trail system, picnic area and restrooms will reopen in phases. Hands-free, outdoor interpretative stations are also available for visitors.
There is currently no admission fee to enter the park. Dig shelter tours have been temporarily suspended. Park buildings remain closed at this time.