TUPPER LAKE - The Adirondack Public Observatory held a groundbreaking ceremony Sunday to celebrate the start of construction on the group's roll-off-roof observatory.
"This is the first step on our journey to bring a full public observatory to Tupper Lake," APO President Keith Wells said at the event, according to a press release from the APO.
The roll-off-roof observatory is the first phase of the project. The APO eventually plans to build a larger, state-of-the-art observatory with classrooms, a gift shop and other amenities. The roll-off-roof observatory is a smaller, no-frills structure with a telescope and a heat-controlled command room.
The Adirondack Public Observatory hosts a groundbreaking ceremony Sunday in Tupper Lake.
The suite of buildings is set to be constructed on a swath of land near the Little Wolf Beach.
Wells said about 75 supporters attended the groundbreaking on Sunday.
He spoke, recognizing the contractors who have worked on the project to date, clearing and excavating the site, then pouring concrete.
APO founders and board members Marc Staves and Tim Moeller talked about the early vision for and the planned construction of the observatory.
Village Mayor Paul Maroun, town Supervisor Roger Amell and ARISE Chairman and APO board member Jim LaValley spoke about the potential benefits the APO will bring to the Tupper Lake community.
Local science teacher and APO board member Gordie Duval talked about the educational mission of the APO and how the group is stimulating the minds of children and adults alike about the wonders of the universe through educational programs.
WPTZ-TV Meteorologist Gib Brown, who is also an APO board member, talked about the overall, far-reaching significance of the APO in making it possible for area residents and visitors to learn more about the science of astronomy.
Wells pointed out that the APO is completely funded through private donations, and thanked all the people present for their support.