Today should have been the start of registration for the Verona Pool and Verona’s 2020 summer playground program. It’s not.
Verona’s director of community services, Jim Cunningham, has sent out an email that both are postponed, due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. “We have to be sure that the current gathering restrictions are no longer necessary during the pool season to open the registration,” Cunningham wrote. For now, the new date for pool registrations is April 15.
The outlook for the playground program is more uncertain. In January, Cunningham had told the Town Council that the Verona Recreation Department would have to make changes to the traditional playground program because of the construction that was supposed to be taking place at Verona’s public schools this summer as a result of the referendum. Both the Verona Pool and the summer playground program are major employers of Verona’s high school students every summer.
Instead of its usual programs for pre-K through 8th grade, the Rec Department was intending to limit this year’s playground to pre-K through 4th grade. And instead of being spread across Verona’s schools, this summer’s program was to have been held entirely at the Verona Community Center. For 5th through 8th grades, Cunningham was intending to have two two-week mini-sessions that would include activities in Verona and bus trips.
What happens now is still up in the air. “For now, I am not posting a new registration date for the Playground Program,” Cunningham wrote. “When there is confirmation that group gathering restrictions are no longer needed, I will post registration information through Communitypass and on our social media tools.”
“Please know that first and foremost, the health and well being of our families and neighbors is the most important fact today,” he added. “The best pool in north Jersey will open again. The Playground Program will happen again. We just have to make sure that our community is healthy when that happens.”