PAUL SMITHS - Three construction projects totaling $4.2 million are slated to begin this summer at Paul Smith's College.
The work includes construction of a new building to house the Adirondack Watershed Institute, a three-story climbing wall and renovations to the swimming pool at the Saunders Sports Complex, and upgrades to the college's sawmill.
Paul Smith's College President John Mills said the construction will provide growth for the campus and the community.
"Each of these projects will bolster our core mission of providing our students an experiential education second to none," Mills said in a news release.
College spokesman Kenneth Aaron said the projects have been in the works for years.
"We're really excited about all three of these projects," Aaron said. "Some of them we've announced in the past and it's been a while getting to the point where we're ready to go forward, but we're here and this is very important for the future of the college and for the community as well. We're spending more than four million dollars on construction this summer, and that's terrific at a time when the economy is hurting."
The largest of the three projects is the Countess Alicia Spaulding-Paolozzi Environmental Research and Education Center - the future home of the Adirondack Watershed Institute.
The $2.4 million, 5,600-square-foot structure is expected to become the first building on campus to gain LEED environmental certification by using 300-foot-deep geothermal wells expected to produce significant energy savings.
The center will be located on the shore of Lower St. Regis Lake and will also house the Adirondack Research Consortium and Center for Adirondack Biodiversity.
Longstanding plans to construct a new, three-story climbing wall at the Saunders Sports Complex will begin this summer. The project includes renovations to the college's swimming pool and will cost approximately $1.6 million.
The new climbing wall will be enclosed by glass and includes an observation deck, while the pool will feature an environmentally friendly chlorine-free purification system.
A $1 million matching grant from Empire State Development will pay for most of the project, with the remaining funds coming from six donors.
Aaron noted the pool will be closed from mid-July to January 2010.
The sawmill upgrades will cost $200,000 - the cheapest of the three projects. The funds will go toward the purchase of new sawmill components, as well as the construction of a custom-designed operator's cabin.
The sawmill is expected to be online this summer, Aaron said. The other projects should be completed by spring 2010.