Town of Amherst Opens Temporary Cooling Center




Town Manager Paul Bockelman and Public Health Director Kiko Malin announced on Monday June 17 that the Town of Amherst will be offering a variety of ways to stay safe and cool during the forecasted high temperatures this week. A cooling center will be available, the public pool will be free to use, and the air-conditioned libraries will be open. The National Weather Service (NWS) and the MEMA Agency Meteorologist report that temperatures are expected to range between 95 and 106 degrees starting on Tuesday, June 18th and lasting through Friday, June 21st. The heat is expected to break over the weekend, but it will remain humid and seasonably warm.

The cooling center will be open in the Glass Room of Bangs Community Center, located at 70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst MA 01002 on the following days/times:

  • Tuesday, June 18 from 8:00 am to 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 20 from 8:00 am to 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, June 21 from 8:00 am to 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 22 from 10 am to 6:00 p.m.

The cooling center will be staffed by Community Responders for Equity, Safety, and Service (CRESS).  The center will offer water/ice and will be open to all members of the public. Anyone in need of a cool place during the heatwave is encouraged to visit. However, if you are sick, please stay home and call your primary care physician to assist you with your medical needs.

The pool will be open and free to use at the Mill River Recreation Area, located at 95 Montague Rd, Amherst, MA 01002 on the following days/times:

  • Tuesday, June 18 through Friday, June 21 for lap swim from 9:00 am to 10:00 am and open swim from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  • Saturday, June 22 for lap swim from 7:00 am to 9:00 am, lap swim and wader from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, and open swim from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Below are other areas around Town where the public can seek relief from the heat:

Groff Park Splash Pad, 72 Mill Lane, Amherst, MA 01002

  • 10:00 am to 8:00 pm [except for Tuesdays when the splash pad opens at 12:00 pm]

The public libraries are air conditioned and will be open on the following days/times:
Jones Library, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA 01002

  • Tuesday from 9:00 am to 8:15 pm
  • Thursday from 9:00 am to 8:15 pm
  • Friday from 9:00 am to 5:15 pm
  • Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:15 pm

Munson Memorial Library, 1046 S East Street, Amherst, MA 01002

  • Monday from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm
  • Thursday from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm
  • Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

North Amherst Library, 8 Montague Road, Amherst, MA 01002

  • Tuesday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Here are some tips to follow during hot, humid weather:

  • Slow down, avoid strenuous activity, and drink plenty of water regularly/often, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Stay cool indoors (in an air-conditioned place) as much as possible.
  • If you do not have air conditioning, stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun. Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help evaporate sweat, which cools your body.
  • Take a cool shower or bath to cool off.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
  • Eat well-balanced, light, regular meals. Avoid high protein foods that increase metabolic rate.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors.

Heat stress is a serious condition that poses a health threat to many people, particularly the elderly and young children. Heat stress places a strain on the body, and if the strain becomes too great, it can cause serious and permanent damage, even death. Preventive measures should be taken to avoid heat stress.

For additional information on warning signs and symptoms of heat related illness visit:

For more information about the cooling centers, please contact the Public Health Department at 413-259-3077 or email

For more information visit:

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8 thoughts on “Town of Amherst Opens Temporary Cooling Center

  1. Are CRESS trained in recognizing (and dealing with) heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and other heat-related medical conditions such as dehydration?

    If so, give them credit for it — and identify them as a public resource.

    Particularly when heat and dehydration badly mess up some of the psych drugs, e.g. Lithium.

  2. In Greenfield, the Housing Authority kept one of its “cooling centers” open on the mid-week holiday, when other places were closed. Yes, it cost a bit more money for staffing, but it was worth it. Amherst could keep the Bangs open on the holiday with one staff person, who was able to do other work, as well..

  3. Northampton also had two cooling centers available for folks on Wednesday. Amherst needs cooling centers open when the heat is the greatest, regardless of holidays and weekends.

  4. I wonder how many people used the cooling centers and at which locations. It might be useful to know for future planning.

  5. Amherst must plan for a “Resilience Center” for all life threatening emergencies (excessive heat or cold is an emergency) available 24/7 for all in need. And, the Town is responsible for identifying vulnerable people who live alone to inform them of available options to keep them safe. The Census is a source of information on the whereabouts of the solitary elderly and challenged individuals. Who is designated with the responsibility of coordinating such a plan?

  6. At the risk of sounding persnickety, we must stop using the word “must” incorrectly. There is a pronounced trend towards using “must”, which technically means there is no choice to be made, when the speaker really means that she or he is imploring the public to make a particular choice for very good reasons.

    Abusing the English laguage is counterproductive. So we must stop doing that.

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