For several weeks, many locals have been without a place to even safely take a walk as the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex has been closed. But Monday, the decision was made to reopen at least partially.

“Hopefully now the parents have somewhere to bring their kids where they can get out and get some fresh air,” Alexander City Parks and Recreation Department director Sonny Wilson said. “These kids just need to move around. They can ride their bikes or whatever. Also, for the seniors who were coming to walk, they had to park at the football field and walk down. A lot can’t walk up that big hill, so now people can park anywhere in the park.”

The Sportplex had been open to groups of five or fewer walking, but now, the dog park, horse riding arena and the archery range are also open to the public. Folks can also take their lunches to the Sportplex and sit at the picnic tables to eat so long as they are following social distancing protocols.

Wilson said one of the biggest complaints he got about the Sportplex being closed was the lack of picnic tables to use in the area, and Monday was crowded with people eating their lunches.

People can also play disc golf but the gymnasium, playground and ballfields are still not open to the public.

Social distancing is still mandatory at the Sportplex and Wilson said he plans to break up large groups who are not staying 6 feet apart, especially under the pavilion.

“A lot of people just come in to walk their dogs, so they’ll be tickled to death,” Wilson said. “We had a lot of people out (Monday), especially at the picnic tables, so I think a lot of people will be happy it’s open.”

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.