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Cooling centers help beat the heat

It’s hot and muggy and temperatures are soaring throughout Michigan. Here’s a list of cooling centers in and around Kalamazoo County.

A heat advisory is in effect until 10 p.m. Wednesday night as temperatures climb above 90-degrees for a second day in a row. The heat index will top 102-degrees or more in some areas.

To help residents beat the heat, the City of Kalamazoo is turning on neighborhood fire hydrants and providing cooling centers at all public libraries. Rony Williams, 22, took her three toddlers to the nearest open fire hydrant to cool off on Tuesday.

“It’s too hot to play unless you’re playing in the water and so we heard them opening up the fire hydrants and we just came to the closest one to my house, but it just so happened to be close to a splash pad as well.”

The splash pad is located on Florence Street near Burrell and is available for Kalamazoo residents to use. The Kalamazoo Kik Pool at Upjohn Park is also open. A new splash pad is under construction at LaCrone Park. The city says it will be open to provide more relief from the heat in the coming weeks.

Kalamazoo’s five public libraries are all official cooling centers. Kristin Jones of Kalamazoo came into the main library to return some books and escape the heat.

“Oh, it's critical to have places like this for a lot of reasons. But the cooling aspect is another part of that in the summer or heating in the winter.”

Dan Mervak of Kalamazoo and his daughter took some time out of the sun at the Kalamazoo Public Library, too.

“It felt great,” said Mervak. “So even the 10 seconds from our parking spot to the library was rough. But we made it, we made it.”

Brittany Trimble brought her two kids to the library, too. She worries about the heat.

“It can be dangerous actually if you don’t get enough water or you stay outside too long, especially the homeless population in this area. It’s a good place to come and just cool down.”

Kalamazoo Public Library cooling centers:

  • Central Library, 315 S Rose St, downtown Kalamazoo, open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday
  • Alma Powell Branch, 1000 W. Paterson St., open 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday
  • Eastwood Branch, 1112 Gayle Ave., open 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday
  • Oshtemo Branch, 7265 W. Main St, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday
  • Washington Square Branch, 1244 Portage St., 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday

Kalamazoo city staff will open hydrants in Kalamazoo from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Back end of Interfaith (building 1038) far NW corner
  • Burrell and Lawrence
  • Krom and Clay
  • Washington and March
  • Sherwood at Roosevelt Apartments
  • Clarence and Jackson
  • Hays Park and March
  • Hays Park and James
  • Charlotte and Sherwood
  • Norway and Princeton
  • Fairbanks and Center
  • Church and Norway

In Portage, most cooling centers are available to the public Monday through Friday at the following locations:

  • Plover Village Hall, 2400 Post Rd, open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Rosholt Branch - Portage County Public Library, 137 N Main St, open 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Portage County Health and Human Services, 817 Whiting Ave, open during normal business hours
  • Main Branch - Portage County Public Library, open 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Cooling centers active in Calhoun County include:
Battle Creek

  • SHARE Center, 120 Grove St., 269-964-8133, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with water distribution
  • Haven of Rest Ministries, 11 Green St., 269-965-1148, 24/7
  • Battle Creek Shelter, 209 E. Michigan Ave., 269-309-6143, 24/7
  • The Salvation Army, 400 Capital Ave. NE, 269-963-3640, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Willard Beach, off George B Place, will be open with FREE admission on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Flash Flood Water Park, 35 W. Hamblin Ave., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $12; kids 2 and younger are free


  • Albion District Library, 501 S. Superior St., 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the children's room open from 2 to 7 p.m.
  • Tractor Supply, 1448 N. Eaton St., will be open for pet owners and pets
  • Open swim at the Opportunity High School, 225 E. Watson St., 2 to 4 p.m. today and 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday.
  • Albion College's Ludington Center, 101 N. Superior St., noon to 5 p.m. today and Wednesday.
  • The mayor's office at City Hall, 112 W. Cass St., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Albion Department of Public Safety lobby will be open 24/7


  • Marshal District Library, 124 W. Green St., 269-781-7821, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
  • Cross Roads Church and Ministries, 717 US Hwy 27 N, 269-781-9094, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Friday
  • Franke Center for the Arts, 214 E. Mansion St. 269-789-9677, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday


  • Homer Community House, 112 W. Adams St., 517-568-1044, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Wednesday