ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Concerns over the cold temperatures are why a north St. Louis rec center is shut down for the second day this week. The heat stopped working late Friday night.
The Gamble Center is one of 7 city run recreation centers. It is a place that kids in the north city neighborhood can come to for a number of different resources. Most importantly, it is a place for constructive activities outside of school. Tuesday is the second day, a guard is inside telling kids the building is closed because there isn't working heat in most of the building.
On a typical Tuesday night, the gym inside the Gamble Recreation Center in north St. Louis City would be filled with kids. Tonight, they're outside, after being turned away by a city police officer. They are told the building is closed, because of no working heat.
It's the second day in a row that kids have been turned away because of the lack of heat. The temperatures inside of the gym reading 52 degrees with the sun still shining.
A statement from the City of St. Louis says, "Gamble staff reports that no one was turned away. Center was unlocked, open and accessible as normal, including multipurpose and boxing rooms. Some folks wanting to use the gym were simply told by Rec Center staff that the gym was colder than the rest of the center, and some people chose not to use it and likely walked away. No one was told they were not permitted to use the gym. Gamble will be open again tomorrow as normal. Facilities Management is working on the problem. One of the heating units have gone out, which is why the rest of the facility still has heat."
Bryan Johnson comes to the center three to four times a week. He says that, more than anything, it gives him and others in the neighborhood a safe place away from the streets.
The Gamble Center was the focus of a "You Paid For It" investigation in October. FOX 2's Elliott Davis questioning the city's Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry on the deteriorating conditions of the building, conditions including, among other things, the heat.