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Beginning With Libraries, Court And City Hall, Wichita Slowly Begins To Reopen

Nadya Faulx
KMUW/File photo
The Advanced Learning Library and most other branch libraries (except for Linwood) reopened to the public on Tuesday with limited services.

Libraries, municipal court and Wichita City Hall opened back up to the public on Tuesday, part of the first wave of city-run facilities to begin reopening more than two months after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to close.

Most buildings and attractions shuttered since mid-March will open over the next few weeks.

"We’ve developed this gradual and safe reopening plan," said city communications manager Megan Lovely. "It’s meant to be flexible and intuitive."

Visitors to any city facility will be required to wear a mask inside.

The city is keeping an updated list of openings at its website. Mayor Brandon Whipple explained at his briefing last week that dates might change, but said it doesn’t mean the city is “moving the goalposts.”

“We’re on the virus’ timeline,” he said. “So…if anything changes, it’ll be because of the progression of this virus or if anything comes from this virus that’s unexpected.”

As of May 26, Sedgwick County had 560 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Along with most branch libraries, city hall and municipal court, Botanica and the city’s golf courses are also open. Below is a list of future openings and dates:

June 1

  • CityArts
  • dog parks
  • fitness centers
  • Linwood Branch Library
  • neighborhood resource centers
  • park facilities rentals
  • playgrounds
  • rec centers
  • Riverside Tennis Center

June 2

  • Cowtown

June 15

  • Century II
  • Water Center public tours

June 16

  • Keeper fire pots relit
  • Mid-America All-Indian Center

June 23

  • Wichita Art Museum

July 1

  • City Hall public meetings
  • Fire station public tours

Nadya Faulx is KMUW's Digital News Editor and Reporter, which means she splits her time between working on-air and working online, managing news on KMUW.org, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She joined KMUW in 2015 after working for a newspaper in western North Dakota. Before that she was a diversity intern at NPR in Washington, D.C.