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Northampton Recreation Center reopens

Northampton Recreation Center, 1 Lerchenmiller Drive, reopened Jan. 4 after closing for a few weeks in adherence with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 mandates.

With the reopening, there have been changes in operational procedures due to the pandemic, according to staff member John Wolfer.

“Masks are required to get in, and there are no functioning water fountains or showers allowed,” he said.

Wolfer also relayed the center is open for 90 minutes at a time, then closed for 30 minutes to disinfect the exercise equipment.

Center Director Jason Kremus explained only 17 people are allowed during the 90-minute time segments. He said appointments are needed to use the workout room. There is a strong emphasis on safety throughout the day.

“We have six 1-1/2-hour sessions Monday through Friday and four sessions on Saturday,” Kremus said.

A member can pick a time to work out but must have an appointment. Currently, no walk-ins are allowed.

The center is closed Sundays, at this point.

The rec center was founded in November 2000. It is a Northampton Borough-sponsored operation, the land for which was donated by Frank Horwith. It is a popular recreation facility used by residents and members from surrounding communities alike. The Northampton Athletic Association uses the gym for basketball. Currently, the gym is closed.

Kremus expects a return of patrons.

“We expect one or two additional members returning every week. We are running with about 50 percent of our members,” Kremus said.

There is an expectation, with vaccine success, there can be a return to some normalcy, and the center can increase the number of patrons allowed to exercise and re-engage healthy group activities throughout the week.

Kremus said it is not possible to see if there is an uptick of new members due to the popular, but often short-lived, New Year’s resolution of returning to physical fitness. It is clear the pandemic has reduced membership activity.

The center hopes to resume full activities by late summer.

Visit norbororec.com or call 610-502-2990 for membership information and an overview of all the diverse activities available at Northampton Recreation Center when the center returns to full activities.

The Frank Horwith building houses the Northampton Recreation Center, which reopened Jan. 4. Activities are limited now, but the facility is expected to be fully reopened this summer.
Appointments are needed to work out at the rec center. No walk-ins are allowed. The center has a robust sanitizing plan to keep all patrons safe. PRESS PHOTOS BY BILL LEINER JR.