BROOKLYN, Ohio — Three months after Brooklyn reopened John M. Coyne Recreation Center with modified programming for residents, Brooklyn Recreation Commissioner Jack Abbruzzese said next month the Memphis Avenue facility is going to allow the return of members from Parma, Parma Heights and Linndale.

an empty parking lot in front of a house: The John M. Coyne Recreation Center in Brooklyn.

© John Benson/
The John M. Coyne Recreation Center in Brooklyn.

“Since we reopened in June, the attendance was been low,” Abbruzzese said. “Right now, our facility is only open to paid members and resident drop-ins, so based on the low attendance we feel comfortable to begin allowing our partner communities to drop into the facility. We can handle the additional flow.”

The details of the expanded operation are due soon with the facility also adjusting its hours closer to a traditional fall schedule. This includes being open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

As far as the reduced attendance, Abbruzzese said he wasn’t surprised.

“We kind of anticipated that,” Abbruzzese said. “We’re not the only community rec center that’s facing that. The protocols we have in place are strict, but they give people enough leeway to come in and do what they need to do in a fun atmosphere.

“I just think a lot of people just aren’t ready to participate in these things yet.”

Of those members who have visited, Abbruzzese said the vast majority have adhered to state and Cuyahoga County Board of Health guidelines, which include mask wearing when entering the facility and social distancing in the pool, weight and cardio rooms, as well as fitness classes.

The rec commissioner did say that seniors are taking advantage of the facility’s early hours, which are earmarked for them. There’s also a lot of activity on the ice rink with youth hockey games.

As far as community rec programs, Brooklyn this summer canceled a day camp, a volleyball program and baseball/softball leagues.

“We attempted to open registration for fall soccer on a clinical basis for all age groups, but had zero people register,” Abbruzzese said. “We’re actually evaluating youth basketball right now. We have meetings this week.

“I know everybody is kind of waiting to see what happens with football and if they get through the season. Just like youth football, we’re going to kind of mirror whatever OHSAA (Ohio High School Athletic Association) and the state recommends.”

The rec commission acknowledged the city’s decisions regarding reopening the facility have been on the cautious side by design.

“We’re doing the right thing,” Abbruzzese said. “That’s indicated by the number of people who are coming into our doors. I just think residents aren’t as ready to get back out and do (recreational) things as a lot of people might think.”

Read more news from the Parma Sun Post here.


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