Greater Ithaca Activities Center


COVID-19 Update: As of July 14, 2020, the GIAC building remains closed to the public. Phones are answered 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday- Friday and business can be done electronically or by appointment only.

Alex Haley Swimming Pool

Alex Haley Pool Reopening

The Alex Haley Municipal Pool is a Summer tradition for youth and adults in the immediate neighborhood, and within Tompkins County. It provides a safe place where  children can practice swimming skills, guests can cool off from the summer heat, lap swimmers get exercise, and families enjoy their summer. Staff have worked hard to ready the pool and put into place reopening procedures. On July 4th GIAC was able to announce that the pool will be officially open for the season!

"GIAC is thrilled by the outpouring of financial support to help us bring some staff back to work and hire other community members to provide the service to the community. However, I want to remind everyone that we are still in the height of a pandemic. This means responsible behavior from community members is essential. We still have to wear masks and follow physical distancing and hand washing guidelines to help stop the spread of the Coronavirius. We will do our part at GIAC and need everyone to do theirs so that we can have a safe, outbreak-free swim season," shared GIAC Director, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne. 

The public swim time schedule is broken down into blocks of time where guests can check-in until the capacity is reached. Please note, capacity has been decreased to allow for appropriate physical distancing in and out of the pool. At the end of each swim session time, guests will exit the facility and the facility will temporarily close for a short time to accommodate thorough cleaning and disinfecting and then the next swim session guests will be admitted. Admittance is on a first come, first serve basis.

Preparing for your visit

  • Pack and wear a face covering/ mask. Masks must be worn while in line to enter and while in the facility when not in the water. Children under two are not required to wear a mask.
  • Be prepared to pack up your items and exit out of the facility at the end of each swim session time.

Upon arrival for swimming

  • Arrive at the start of one of the swim session time frames as there is limited capacity for each session.
  • Line up at the Admissions Tent located in front of the facility on the 6-ft distancing line markers.
  • Staff will collect contact information, conduct a temperature check, and ask three COVID-19 screening questions.
  • Currently, we are not taking group reservations.

Inside the facility  

  • Masks must always be worn when not in the water.
  • Go directly to a table or marked grass area to place your belongings and stay within your area to practice physical distancing when not in the water.
  • Physical distancing is also expected while in the pool.
  • Rinse at the outdoor shower before entering the water.
  • Follow the distancing markers on the ground for entering and exiting the pool.|

Swimming Schedule

You asked and we listened.  The Alex Haley Municipal Swimming Pool has added additional lap swim times on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings from 8 - 8:45 am. See the full lap swim schedule below. Lap swim times are for any age swimmer using the marked lanes for exercise lap swimming. There is a limit of 9 lap swimmers at one time due to the number of lanes available. 
Open swim times are for all ages using the main pool and Max's wading area for general swimming and fun in the water.  See below for the full schedule of open swim times and Max's Wading Pool.  The pool is free this summer thanks to generous community donors. 

As a reminder, please bring your mask from home as masks are required while standing in line for admissions and at all times while out of the water.  Staff will conduct a temperature check and ask COVID screening questions which must be passed before entry into the facility. Cleaning and disinfecting occur between the advertised swim times. For questions, contact the Alex Haley Pool at (607) 277-6169. 

As we head into September, the Alex Haley Municipal Pool has adjusted the hours of operation beginning Tues., Sept 1 thru Sun., Sept 20th.
The pool will close for the 2020 season on September 20th.  

Saturday - Thursday from 9/1 - 9/20
10:00 am - 11:45 am Lap swim session #1 (no admittance after 11:15 am)
Noon- 3:15 pm Open swim session #1 (no admittance after 2:45 pm)
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm  Open swim session #2 (no admittance after 5:00 pm)
5:45 pm - 6:45 pm Lap swim session #2 (no admittance after 6:15 pm)

Fridays 9/4 - 9/18
Noon- 3:15 pm Open swim session #1 (no admittance after 2:45pm)
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm  Open swim session #2  (no admittance after 5:00 pm) 
5:45 pm - 6:45 pm Lap swim session #1 (no admittance after 6:15 pm)

As a reminder, lap swimming is for all ages using the marked lanes for swimming exercise laps in the main pool. Open swim times are for all ages for general swimming and water fun in the main pool and Max's Wading Pool area.

Masks are required except when in the water. Other COVID19 precautions include a temperature check and screening questions at admissions, increased cleaning and disinfecting, and physical distancing.


Dear GIAC Caregivers, Participants and Community,

RE: GIAC Announces A Temporary Set-Back For A Strong Comeback.

At GIAC we are proud of our culture of love, family, resiliency, and strong relationships with our staff, participants, families and community. Like many of you, the City of Ithaca and GIAC are currently experiencing great challenges due to the financial impact the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on our nation, state and local community. We know these past weeks have been filled with stress, challenges, isolation, and financial difficulties.
However, through these unprecedented times there have been examples of the community supporting one another. From setting up online programming and senior grocery services to mask making, collaborating on a food pantry at GIAC, and staff making phone calls to check on GIAC families, we have provided support.
City of Ithaca and GIAC leadership are looking forward to how our community rebounds after the outbreak subsides and we can return to offering a safe environment for our participants. At this time, no government stimulus funds have been provided for municipalities including the City of Ithaca to recoup lost revenues and costs of the pandemic. The City will experience a budgetary shortfall estimated to be in the millions for this budget year, thus, difficult decisions and changes have had to be made. With the Governor’s Executive Orders to close schools, temporarily reduce workforce, and put New York on pause, coupled with social distancing requirements, we have had to close all physical programs at GIAC. Add to that the projected financial shortfall, and GIAC along with other city departments and community agencies have to endure further difficult changes. These changes will affect our staff, participants, programs and services through the summer months but will position us to come back stronger after the pandemic.
• Most of GIAC’s employees will not be working after May 1 for a few months.
• All GIAC youth and teen programs will continue to be closed at least through August.
• There will be no summer programs, which include Rashad Richardson Basketball League, Summer Camp, Boxing, Conservation Corp, and Teen Employment.
• Current online youth/teen programming will end on May 1.
• GIAC administration will continue to offer the Virtual Family Fun@Home Challenge Activities through postings on GIAC’s Facebook page,
• The Hospitality Employment Training Program will continue to stay open for now through online outreach.
• Senior Program staff will continue to provide support and basic program/services to our vulnerable seniors.
• GIAC will continue to accept applications for the Robin’s Fund electronically.
• The Food Pantry at GIAC on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 -4 pm will remain available outside of GIAC.
• GIAC will continue to provide business services, 10am-4pm, Monday - Friday via telephone and email with the main office number (607) 272-3622 and via email at
• The GIAC building will continue to be closed to the public.
Once a decision is made regarding the 2020-21 After School Program, GIAC staff will be in touch with families.
Stay strong and be well,

Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, GIAC Director
Travis Brooks, Deputy GIAC Director
Kerry Phillips, Deputy GIAC Director

PDF of this letter

At this time, 3/12/2020, GIAC is NOT taking any new volunteers

Interested in volunteering at GIAC please fill out our Volunteer Information Form 

GIAC Fall 020-2021 After School Program

As of July 14, 2020, the GIAC After School Program has been canceled because of GIAC’s facility shutdown due to COVID-19.

GIAC Summer Camp 

The regularly scheduled 2020 GIAC Summer Camp Program has been canceled due to GIAC’s facility shut down because of COVID-19. However, due the the generosity of our community, GIAC will begin hosting pop-up programming soon!

Please note, these activities are not childcare or full day summer programs. These are short activities that will provide an opportunity for the youth/teens in our community to have some fun after many months of being isolated at home with COVID-19 health safety procedures being implemented. Face coverings/masks will be required for all staff and participants and should a participant require a mask GIAC will provide one.

2020 Gus Macker 

The Original 3-on-3 Basketball Festival of Family Fun.
This tournament is designed for basketball players who love the fun of the driveway game- male or female, from 7 to 70-plus, short to tall, from the most experienced to those with little or no experience - everyone who just wants to play is welcome.

Registration starts March 1st, 2020! at
First 30 Teams receive a $20 early bird discount.

Thank you to
Visum Development Group
Ithaca Department of Athletics - NY
United Way of Tompkins County 

GIAC Senior

All GIAC Senior Programming is currently on pause due to COVID-19. Senior members may participate in the online Arts & Crafts group, and a limited number of online programs and member only assistive services.  

Video care of The Ithaca Voice, by Jacob Mroczek, link to story


If you would like to make a direct donation to GIAC, Inc. please use GIAC Grows capital drive page.

Thank you!
GIAC, Inc. Board