The American Public Works Association (APWA) has verified what citizens of the Greensburg and Kiowa County, region have known for a while . . . the Kiowa County Commons is anything but common.

The Commons just won the APWA's 2013 Project of the Year Award for small cities. Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC) of Wichita, provided engineering design for the project.

The building was constructed after a devastating tornado struck Greensburg in 2007, destroying the facilities of most of the area's government and cultural institutions. Its innovative design provides facilities for the Kiowa County Historical Museum, a media center, and the county research and extension office.

Designed to LEED Platinum standards, it incorporated energy and water conservation features, and utilized sustainable and reclaimed construction materials.

PEC project manager Tim Lenz remarked, "This is a great example of what can happen when a community wants to cooperate and get the maximum value for their investment. We're glad the APWA rewarded them for that."

The award ceremony will be held in Lawrence, in May.