The new Fort McCoy Child Development Center (CDC) is taking shape as the company awarded the project quickly moved the modular sections into place.

Jeff Thomas, the superintendent for the Murillo Modular group of Carrollton, Texas, said his firm is constructing the CDC facility. Construction began in mid-September and should be completed in 2009, possibly in the summer time frame.

The $4.8 million, approximately 13,000-square-foot facility is being funded with appropriated funds under the National Defense Authorization Act through a Department of Defense contract.

"These (modular) facilities are as good as, if not better than, construction built on site," Thomas said. "A big advantage to using modular construction is the speed in which the facility can be built."

MarkLine Industries of Bristol, Ind., built the modular sections in its facilities in about 30 days, Thomas said.

"It would probably take four or five times that long to do the work on site," Thomas said. "The process is done in a weather-controlled factory that takes the inclement-weather variable out of the construction timeline."

Dave Gundlach, Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works project manager, said the new CDC will replace facilities built out of World-War II era wood, which have been extensively renovated to meet the needs of the youth and staff.

"It's always a challenge to bring the (current structure) up to standards," Gundlach said. "The new facility will be built to meet up-to-date standards (for electrical, heating, cooling, fire codes, etc.)."

Murillo Modular also has been awarded the contract to construct a School Age Services (SAS) facility near the CDC site. Thomas said he wasn't sure when construction of the SAS facility would begin.

Depending on how the project time line moves ahead, there could be some overlap of the two projects, he said.

According to an American Forces Press Service story, the new Fort McCoy CDC is one of 20 facilities being built under an accelerated DoD-wide program to support military child care.

President George Bush called on Congress during his State of the Union address earlier this year to provide more quality-of-life support for military families, including expanded access to child care.

These centers offer full-day, part-day and hourly child care, as well as part-day preschool and before- and after-school programs for school-age children.

Daryl Budda, chief of the Business Activities of the Fort McCoy Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, said the CDC construction will help support the Army's commitment to take care of Army Families through the Army Family Covenant and Army Community Covenant.

Constructing a modular facility is unique in that it takes far less labor than doing it all on site, which saves labor costs, Thomas said.

The modular facilities also include electrical and plumbing work installed in the new building.

Thomas said the drywall also can be included.

The next step in the process is to make the facility watertight and weatherproof so heating sources can be installed and work can proceed over the winter months on inside amenities, such as installing flooring or painting.

"The end result will be as good as a building constructed the regular way," said Thomas, who has been constructing modular facilities for the past 18 years. "I think once it's finished that anyone looking at it would have a hard time telling it from a building constructed completely on site."