Cooling Centers and Shelters Open in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services opened cooling centers and shelters for anyone needing to escape the summer heat.

Cooling centers are available throughout the summer, regardless of the outside temperature.

"If you're uncomfortable at 80 degrees, you can use the cooling center," said Andrea Waner, the Public Information Officer Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The cooling centers are open during the building's normal business hours. The Activity and Recreation Center has been a cooling center since the health department started the program. It has some of the longest operating hours.

"We are open 103 hours a week," Activity and Recreation Center Administrative Supervisor Joan Smith said. "We're here until 9:30 at night, and we open at 5:30 in the morning."

All public areas including lobbies, restrooms and drinking fountains are available as part of the cooling centers. These are not official shelters or overnight facilities. 

Here's a complete list of Columbia's cooling centers:

ARC (Activity and Recreation Center) at 1701 West Ash Street
Armory Sports and Community Center at 701 East Ash Street
Boone County Government Center at 801 East Walnut
Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health & Human Services at 1005 West Worley
Columbia Public Library at 100 West Broadway
Salvation Army at 1108 West Ash Street
Salvation Army Harbor House at 602 North Ann
St. Francis House at 901 Rangeline