Petersburg’s community center gym, weight room and pool will be mostly closed to the public for the better part of two weeks because of two conferences planned here this month.

Borough manager Steve Giesbrecht Tuesday told the borough assembly that the community center would be closed September 12th through the 23rd.

“This is for the Alaska Parks and Recreation Association who will be having their annual conference here that first week,” Giesbrecht explained. “Then Southeast Conference will be using the facilities the second week. During this time frame all facilities will be closed for use to the public, so we can facilitate those two conferences.”
Petersburg’s Parks and Recreation director Chandra Thornburg on Wednesday clarified that her staff has come up with a plan to allow some openings during that time. The weight room, racquetball court, sauna and pool will have limited hours on Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18. Viking Swim Club, the high school swim teams and elementary classes will still be using the pool during the two weeks.

The gym however will be closed September 12th through the 23rd for the two conferences, with one exception. There’s a community expo in the gym planned as part of the Parks and Recreation Association conference on Thursday, September 15 from 5-9 p.m. That’s open to the public and will include vendors, arts and crafts sales, the bounce house and other activities.

The Parks and Recreation Association is a professional group for people working in that field in the state. Former Petersburg Parks and Rec director Donnie Hayes is organizing the group’s annual conference, September 14th-17th. They’ll be holding training sessions for the group’s members on topics ranging from dog parks to yoga to playground safety to professional development.

The second gathering is for the Southeast Conference, a regional group of municipalities and businesses. Formed 58 years ago to lobby for a better transportation in Southeast Alaska, the group now focuses on promoting numerous industries and economic development around the region. That organization’s annual conference is September 20-22nd. Conference members will be hearing presentations on the maritime industry, energy development and solid waste service in Southeast, the ferry system, mariculture and mining, among other topics.