Cooling Centers Available, Usage Hard to Track
COLUMBIA - Managers of the public buildings being used as cooling centers say it is difficult to know if residents are using the buildings for anything other than the facility's original purpose. That's because staff members don't record everyone who enters the building.
"I honestly couldn't tell you if anyone has come in just to use the ARC as a cooling center," ARC Aquatic Specialist S. J. Idel said. "Everyone I've seen has come in to use our different facilities."
The ARC did receive one phone call Friday afternoon from someone confirming that the facility was a cooling center.
"We have seen an increase in the number of people using our indoor pool," Idel said. "There's less and less people using the outdoor pool because of the heat."
The Columbia Department of Public Health and Human Services offers residents who do not have air-conditioning access to cooling centers located throughout Columbia. The nine locations are open to the public during their regular business hours. Residents can visit the cooling centers to rest in the air-conditioning, use the restrooms, and, in some locations, get a drink of water.
The nine Columbia cooling centers are:
- ARC: 1707 West Ash Street
- Armory Sports and Community Center: 701 East Ash Street
- Boone County Government Center: 801 East Walnut
- Columbia Public Library: 100 West Broadway
- Missouri United Methodist Church: 204 South 9th Street
- Oakland Senior Center: 805 Old Hwy 63 North
- Public Health and Human Services Department: 1005 West Worley
- Salvation Army: 1108 West Ash Street
- Salvation Army Harbor House: 602 North Ann