Fayette County

Lexington opening cooling centers as heat index approaches 100

Lexington fountains are a draw in the heat

Area residents cool off in the fountain in front of the Fayette District Court in downtown Lexington.
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Area residents cool off in the fountain in front of the Fayette District Court in downtown Lexington.

Lexington is opening three cooling centers this week as temperatures are expected to top 90 degrees and the heat index approaches 100. Admission to city pools will be half price through Saturday, city officials said Wednesday.

Dunbar, Picadome and Tates Creek community centers will be open beginning Thursday. LexTran is offering free rides to the cooling centers, city officials said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the city’s main homeless shelter for men will remain open. People staying there will be allowed to stay inside during the daytime hours. In addition, the Hope Center on Loudon Avenue will send out its street outreach case worker to encourage those on the streets to come indoors. Those who won’t come to the air-conditioned shelter will get free bottles of water and referrals for services, Hope Center officials said Wednesday.

During cold nights, the Hope Center and other homeless shelters see the number of people in its shelter rise. The same is true when temperatures are in the mid to high-90s. Weather forecasts say the heat index will be closer to 100 by Friday.

Monica Conrad, the city’s director of parks and recreation, encouraged those without air conditioning to come to the cooling centers. People using LexTran to get to the cooling centers should tell bus drivers they are traveling to a cooling center and they will not be charged if they cannot pay, Conrad said.

Dunbar Community Center, at 545 N. Upper St., will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The center will also be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Rooms at Tates Creek, 1400 Gainesway Drive, and Picadome, 469 Parkway Drive, will be open from 7 a.m. to dusk Thursday through Saturday, city officials said.

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall