TICONDEROGA One of the communitys worst-kept secrets became public last week. Lowes announced its building a store in Ticonderoga. While its been common knowledge Lowes was coming to Ticonderoga for several years company officials had been before the Ti planning board, the Adirondack Park Agency held a hearing on its proposal in Ti and work has even started on the site adjacent to Wal-Mart on Wicker Street store officials had refused to confirm their interest in Ticonderoga until last week. A new Lowes will soon be under way at the southeast corner of Route 74 and Route 9 North, Lowes spokeswoman Maureen Rich said in a written release. The new Lowes store is expected to open in the third quarter of 2008. The do-it-yourself retailer is known for helping homeowners find the right equipment and supplies to build, improve, beautify and enjoy their homes. Karen Cobb, a Lowes spokeswoman, said its the companys policy not to comment on proposed stores although she acknowledged it was no secret Lowes wanted to build in Ti. Lowes, the nations second largest home improvement retailer behind Home Depot, has 11,025 stores. Lowes builds one of two prototype stores at a location. In major metropolitan areas a 116,000 square feet building that costs $18.5 million is constructed. It creates about 175 jobs, Cobb said. In smaller markets a 94,000 square feet building that costs $12 is constructed. It creates about 120 jobs, Cobb said. In both cases there is an additional 30,000 square feet lawn and garden center constructed, she said. With fiscal year 2006 sales of $46.9 billion, Lowes Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE 50 company that serves approximately 13 million customers a week at more than 1,475 home improvement stores in 49 states and three in Canada.