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At a new community center at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, patrons can check out books and get checkups for their pets.

The massive center at NAS 1, which is scheduled for a grand opening on Thursday, houses a library, veterinary clinic, teen center, thrift store, post office, Italian bank, Red Cross, Navy College, Angie’s Travel and an Information, Tours and Travel office.

“It’s basically two buildings with a breezeway,” said Lt. Jennifer Avery, NAS 1 recapitalization manager.

Construction on the two-story, 35,490- square-foot structure started in August 2002 and finished in April. Employees started moving in to the $5.96 million center in May.

The second level, home to the library and Navy college, features an outdoor terrace where people can study, read and eat. Richard Aubrey, library manager, said a library cafe sells coffee, pastries and sandwiches.

There are several ongoing projects in Sigonella. Next year, a Bank of America will open in the community center.

Avery said a renovation to the Department of Defense Dependents School will start by fall, and families recently moved into a new housing area.

In summer 2005, a massive Morale, Welfare and Recreation complex is scheduled to open. It will have two movie theaters, a bowling alley, fitness center, rock-climbing wall and outdoor swimming pool.


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