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Center is green in all but name

Ball said she still plans to pursue the less costly NYSERDA New Construction Program, which is similar to LEED. That should only cost $6,200, and could bring back funds in the area of $30,000 to the town.

No matter what agency recognizes the structure, it has already received approval from the most vital entity: Malta's Town Council. Ball said that opening bids will be taken June 6, and construction could start as soon as July.

Ball hopes for a September 2009 grand opening.

The $6 million addition has already traversed a winding road. In December, the project was the subject of a public referendum after residents concerned about the cost of the project petitioned for a vote.

The highlights of the addition will be a gymnasium featuring a full-size basketball court as well as a Round Lake Library branch, an addition Ball says will be welcomed.

"The existing library is in a historic home and not very accessible," said Ball. The library branch in the community center is expected to be about 5,300-square-feet, and will feature an automatic check in/check out kiosk for patrons. A media room is also planned in addition to the library.

The community center will still be open during construction, though as construction wraps up next year, there will likely be a transition period. Ball, for one, is excited at the opportunity a green project like the community center expansion presents for change.

"To me, it's important," said Ball. "We need to start a trend in this country to save the environment." ""

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