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Pleasantville's Pace Opens Solar Classroom

PLEASANTVILLE. N.Y. - Sunny skies aptly shined down on the Pace University campus Thursday afternoon as its Environmental Center celebrated the opening of its new solar-powered classroom.

"Can you feel the electricity being made?" said Angelo Spillo, director of the Environmental Center.

The panels were funded by Con Edison, which awarded Pace with a $15,000 grant as part of its effort to expand solar development in New York. A similar initiative was also signed into action by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday.

"A lot of times we have so much dialogue and you see much going on back and forth as far as solar industry and solar power at this point," said County Legislator Michael Smith. "A lot of what you read is just the talk. This is the doing, and we need more doing and we need less talk."

While the solar panels will help the center save money on its electrical bill, Spillo said that was not the motivation behind its installation. The equipment will instead be used as a teaching tool.

"One of the things we wanted to do was keep this equipment visible," Spillo said. "If you were doing it in a home, you would want to hide it, you would want to put it in the basement, it's kind of unsightly. In our case, we want our students to see it."

Helping to design the conversion was William Misicka, a senior student in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences' Environmental Studies Program at Pace. Misicka performed research on solar energy and went on a solar site survey with a contracting company.

"This is a virus, it's a good virus, and this is how it spreads. Congratulations to Pace on your accomplishment," said Smith. "Let the sun shine."

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