SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- The Olympic village, which will house more than 15,000 athletes and officials during the games, was handed to the New South Wales state government on Monday.
The $36 million village is built in the shadow of Sydney Olympic Park. Its 513 houses, 355 apartments and 336 modular homes will be added to the new Sydney suburb of Newington next year.
The village has a "green" theme, with all permanent homes using solar power so that at the time of the games, it will be the world's largest solar-powered suburb.
Other environmental initiatives include a four-star energy efficiency rating, 90 percent recycling of waste material and the use of environmentally sustainable materials.
"It's one of the genuine success stories of the green Games," Greenpeace spokesman Corin Millais.
For the Olympics, the buildings at Newington were reconfigured with living, dining and garage areas converted to bedrooms and bathrooms and temporary structures attached to houses to provide more sleeping spaces.
The village center has a shopping mall, community facilities including a meeting hall, sports results distribution center, a 650-seat restaurant, religious center, gym and dance club as well as a full range of medical services.
The main dining area seats 4,800 people at a time during its 24-hour operation. Six thousand meals will be served each hour, with approximately 50,000 meals eaten there each day.
After the Olympics, the village will be modified again to house the 7,500 athletes and team officials for the Paralympics starting on Oct. 18.
The first athletes move into the village on Sept. 2.