RAY BROOK The Adirondack Park Agency announced last week that two of its Visitor Interpretive Centers (VICs) will switch to a five-day week to cut energy costs in anticipation of costly heating bills this winter. According to to APA chairman Curt Stiles, the Newcomb and Paul Smiths VICs will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and only trail systems will be open for public use on Sunday and Monday. The new schedules will meet an energy-savings mandate passed on to state agencies by Governor David Paterson. Stiles said that spending will be cut by up to 10 percent. The new five-day winter schedule at the VICs will reduce the Agencys energy bills and staffing requirements at a time when the countrys energy prices continue to rise, he said. This will help us meet the Governors order to reduce spending in the current fiscal year and achieve a zero-growth budget for the coming year. The adjusted schedule saves electricity and lowers the temperature of both buildings during the two off-days. Mike Brennan, director of the Paul Smiths VIC, said that program services will not be affected by the schedule change, and that the days were picked so that weekend visitors and school groups could continue using the facilities. This schedule preserves our ability to keep weekend programming for residents and visitors while accommodating school groups during the week, Brennan added. Rynda McCray, Newcomb director, noted that the schedule allows for consolidation of staff, which benefits school groups who often need more staff members present to educate students. Stiles said that the new scheduling is one aspect of an agency-wide plan to reduce energy costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions at APA locations. Several energy-conservation projects have already been implemented at the Ray Brook offices, including plans for the installation of a 24-panel photovoltaic solar system.