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HALFMOON: Street in the Hall

Halfmoon Councilman Jim Bold is retiring in December after 14 years on the town board but not before seeing through one of the most visible projects of his political career.

The new Halfmoon Town Hall is being constructed next to the current building off of Route 236. The $7 million project is expected to be completed this November. The town broke ground on the project earlier this year.

The key design element of the new building is a single corridor for all resident services. The one-floor building will have just one main entrance. After entering, residents will be able to go straight ahead for the town meeting room or turn right for the corridor.

Steve Rowland is the project's head architect.

When the residents of the town come in, they're sort of on a streetscape," Rowland said. "Instead of stores that they visit and window shop, there are town departments. It makes it a lot easier to find where they need to go. The one main entrance cuts down on the confusion as to where to go, and it also helps on security."

"We were trying to create a facility where the residents will be proud of the architecture, the functionality, the appearance, and the comfort of the building, and where our employees will have a safe environment," Bold added.

In an effort to save energy and minimize environmental impact, the new town hall will use 42 geothermal wells that will serve as the building's sole heating and cooling source. The 8-inch wells were drilled to a depth of 400 feet.

Rowland said that the temperature of the earth, which is mostly shale at that depth, is a constant 50 degrees.

"It's using the ground as its heat sink rather than air. There's a lot of heat energy in 50-degree air," he said. "Once you concentrate all that heat together, you'll get a lot more work out of it."

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