• Col. D. Peter Helmlinger, right, commander of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Europe, hands Col. Christopher M. Benson, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach commander, the key to the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center during the grand opening of the joint facility Dec. 16, 2013.

    Key to the facility

    Col. D. Peter Helmlinger, right, commander of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Europe, hands Col. Christopher M. Benson, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach commander, the key to the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center during the grand...

  • Several members of the USAG Ansbach community and more cut the ribbon at the gymnasium of the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center Dec. 16, 2013.

    Cutting the ribbon

    Several members of the USAG Ansbach community and more cut the ribbon at the gymnasium of the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center Dec. 16, 2013.

  • Col. Christopher M. Benson, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach commander, cuts the cake during the grand opening of the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center Dec. 16, 2013.

    Saber slices cake

    Col. Christopher M. Benson, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach commander, cuts the cake during the grand opening of the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center Dec. 16, 2013.

  • From left, Brigit Jones, Infant 2 teacher at the Katterbach Child Development Center, Eddy Claudio, Tiffany Claudio and Jeremiah Claudio play together in the Infant 2 room during the Katterbach Kaserne combined School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16, 2013.

    The family that plays together

    From left, Brigit Jones, Infant 2 teacher at the Katterbach Child Development Center, Eddy Claudio, Tiffany Claudio and Jeremiah Claudio play together in the Infant 2 room during the Katterbach Kaserne combined School Age Center and Child Development...

  • Col. Christopher M. Benson, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach commander, speaks to an audience at the gymnasium of the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16, 2013.

    Remarks

    Col. Christopher M. Benson, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach commander, speaks to an audience at the gymnasium of the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16, 2013.

  • Col. D. Peter Helmlinger, commander of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Europe, addresses an audience of parents, children and child care workers at the grand opening of the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center Dec. 16, 2013.

    Remarks

    Col. D. Peter Helmlinger, commander of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Europe, addresses an audience of parents, children and child care workers at the grand opening of the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center Dec. 16, 2013.

  • Nadega Peña and her children wait for roasted, candied nuts while in line to visit Santa Claus at the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16, 2013.

    Candied, roasted nuts

    Nadega Peña and her children wait for roasted, candied nuts while in line to visit Santa Claus at the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16, 2013.

  • Gilberto and Jahayra Rosales take photos of their daughters Antonia, left, and Diane, right, with Santa Claus during the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16, 2013.

    Santa

    Gilberto and Jahayra Rosales take photos of their daughters Antonia, left, and Diane, right, with Santa Claus during the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16, 2013.

  • Attendees at the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16 wait in line to see the inflatable planetarium in the gymnasium.

    Planetarium

    Attendees at the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16 wait in line to see the inflatable planetarium in the gymnasium.

  • Richard White, writing at the table, creates a birthday card celebrating 19 years of Army Family Team Building at the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16, 2013.

    AFTB's Happy 19th

    Richard White, writing at the table, creates a birthday card celebrating 19 years of Army Family Team Building at the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16, 2013.

  • Rachel and Andrew Tehvand, right, take pictures of their children John and Sophie with Santa Claus at the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16, 2013.

    Visit from Santa

    Rachel and Andrew Tehvand, right, take pictures of their children John and Sophie with Santa Claus at the Katterbach School Age Center and Child Development Center grand opening Dec. 16, 2013.

ANSBACH, Germany (Jan. 7, 2014) -- U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach celebrated the grand opening of the new Child Development Center and School Age Center complex at Katterbach Kaserne Dec. 16, 2013. The new center combines the two previously distinct developmental care centers into one facility.

Guests from the Army Corps of Engineers, the German Bauamt, the regional Child, Youth and School Services, and the Department of Defense Dependent Schools joined the ceremony, which also served as "Winterfest" for the community.

"This is a beautiful building," said Tamara Browning, chief for Child, Youth and School Services. "It is filled with brand new equipment, new supplies and brand new furniture, but what makes it truly special is that it's filled with the caring, compassionate staff, who are honored to serve your children each and every day."

Parents of the children who attend the combined center echoed this sentiment.

"The staff is awesome," said Eddy Claudio, a Soldier at USAG Ansbach. "They've always been awesome."

"The mission of CYS Services is to enhance the readiness and well-being of our service members and their families by providing predictable, affordable and quality programs and services for our children and youths," said Col. Christopher M. Benson, USAG Ansbach and Franconia Military Community commander, during a speech to the audience. "Knowing that there is someone there to ensure the safety, well-being and development of our children strengthens our community and enables us to provide ready and resilient units, Soldiers and Family members for our Army. A strong community translates to a ready and resilient force.

"I'd like to thank our CYSS staff for your untiring professionalism and dedication as you provide safe, quality care to our children each and every day," continued Benson. "Your efforts are appreciated by our entire community."

Col. Peter D. Helmlinger, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Europe, highlighted the features of the building during remarks to the audience. The $11 million facility can safely and comfortably house as many as 230 children at a time, features classrooms, playgrounds, activity rooms, a multi-purpose gym, administrative offices, a reception area and more. Safety features include, according to Helmlinger, a "state-of-the-art" fire prevention system and alarm system.

"As a parent, I understand the need to ensure our kids spend their days in a safe, comfortable facility so we can go about our workdays without worry," said Helmlinger. "This facility provides just that."

One of the facility's features to impress Brigit Jones, teacher for Infant 2, was the new gymnasium. The large open area has a movable partition that, when both school age youths and preschool children must share the space during inclement weather, can separate the two groups from each other for safer indoor physical activities.

"When the weather is bad we can go into the gym with the children, which is really good for the little ones because they need to move," said Jones. "So it's very convenient, especially when it's cold out there during the wintertime."

"Between the Storck and Katterbach CDCs, we have the newest and best child development centers and school age centers in all of Europe," said Benson. "To the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- Europe District, Colonel Helmlinger, you and your team have once again built a beautiful, high-quality facility."

To commemorate the occasion of the Corps of Engineers building passing into garrison hands, Helmlinger gave Benson a large key to the facility, mounted on a plaque. The colonels, staff of facility and of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and a garrison family cut the ribbon on the facility, after which the cake was sliced and served to ceremony attendants.

The Ansbach Middle/High School Junior ROTC provided color guard duties for the grand opening.

The grand opening and Winterfest were made possible through the help of the Area Support Team, the Directorate of Public Works, and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

Besides showing off the new facilities to the USAG Ansbach community, the Winterfest also provided an opportunity to experience holiday cheer. A local national entertainer provided a fire and light show and a unicycle comedy act. A horse drew attendants in a covered carriage. Live reindeer attended a Santa Claus who handed out gifts, heard from children and posed for photographs. Roasted, candied nuts were provided to those waiting in line for Santa. An inflatable planetarium in the gymnasium allowed attendants to explore the cosmos in the comfortable warmth of the gym.

This event followed the opening of the CDC/SAC facility at Storck Barracks. To learn more, visit www.army.mil/article/113198/ or click the link in the "Related Links" section.

Page last updated Tue January 7th, 2014 at 00:00