Romulus Athletic Center has taken steps to reopen, once allowed by Governor Whitmer

As gyms and fitness centers wait for the green light to open their doors again, many are doing everything they can to be ready when it happens. Romulus Athletic Center is one such place that is taking several steps to limit the spread of the virus, once they can open.

Romulus Mayor Leroy Burcroff said he thought the facility would be ready by now but recent upticks in confirmed cases has slowed everything in the state down.

"One of the most common questions I get is - What about the fitness center? When is it gonna open" Burcroff said. 

They thought it would be open weeks ago and Romulus Athletic Center manager Andy Mackay said they were already bringing people back.

"It was very very frustrating. We were kinda gearing up, getting ready to go. You had a lot of people back on staff and all of a sudden....yeah," Mackay said.

In June, a federal judge ordered that indoor gyms could reopen but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer immediately appealed and won. Now, four months since the last guest was in the building, Burcroff and Mackay say the staff has been hard at work and ready to do so - once allowed.

"Once we get the green light we're gonna be following all the CDC requirements, all of the county health department requirements, and beyond," Burcroff said.

The 90,000 square foot facility offers a full fitness area, a walking track, basketball and volleyball courts, a five-pool water park, dance and banquet rooms, plus daycare. 

MacKay says they plan to slowly open in three phases. Under phase one basketball, rock climbing, swimming, or daycare would all be unavailable. But other fitness areas would be open with proper precautions in place.

"We moved all of our equipment, we socially distanced it all, we put it out on the tiles, put it over in the concession department," MacKay said.

To really enforce the social distancing, every other elliptical and treadmill is taped off with about 8 feet between each machine.

Throughout the fitness area, you see Xs on the floor to socially distance as well. There's hand sanitizer and sneeze guards and members are required to mask up and wipe down equipment after use.

"We also have misting sprayers, so when you do use the equipment, when you get off, one of our service members will come over and actually hosed down the equipment," MacKay said.

Drinking fountains and showers are all closed - but these changes are all necessary and ones that Burcroff says a lot of people seem to be willing to make to stay healthy during this stressful time.

"When you're exercising you're not just physically - it's not just physical, it's emotional, it's mental health," Burcroff said.