By Rob SchuetteAugust 14, 2009
The new Child Development Center, building 1796 at Fort McCoy, is moving steadily toward a projected Sept. 1 opening date.
The new facility will accommodate youth from 6 weeks to five years old.
Jan Fink, Fort McCoy Child, Youth and School Services (CYSS) coordinator, said new playground equipment is in place, and CYSS staff members are completing preparations, such as setting up the classroom environments and sanitizing all of the new toys.
Some landscaping work also is continuing. "Staff members and the families are looking forward to moving into the new building," Fink said. "It offers modern areas for age-specific activities and up-to-date areas for the kitchen area and other amenities," such as an activity room that will be especially appreciated on rainy days and during the long winter when it can get too cold to be outside for very long.
Parents and youth involved in the program were offered a tour of the new facility. Fink said CYSS will schedule an open house in the future so members of the Fort McCoy community can see and tour the new facility.
The $4.8 million, 13,000-square-foot facility was funded with appropriated funds authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act through a Department of Defense contract. Murillo Modular group of Carrollton, Texas, constructed the building, which was built in modular sections.
Fink said the playground equipment from the current CDC, building 1747, will remain at that site for the time being.
Youth in the CDC will use the area as a park playground off site, until further notice, she said.
Construction also is expected to begin later this year, as soon as funding is released, for a new Youth Center, which will accommodate youth ages 6-18.
Chelsey Smith, CDC director, said the new CDC is waiting for items that are on back order, such as kitchen items, etc., to prepare for operations in the new facility.
"The new facilities also will help provide expanded access to child care, which will improve the quality-of-life support for military families at Fort McCoy," Smith said. "The facility will help us support the Army's commitment to take care of the Army's Families through the Army Family Covenant."
The new facility helps improve family readiness by ensuring excellence in schools, youth services and child care.
The new Fort McCoy CDC is one of 20 facilities being built under an accelerated Department of Defense-wide program to support military child care.
During his 2008 State of the Union address then-President George W. Bush called on Congress to provide more quality-of-life support for military families, including expanded access to child care, according to an article in American Forces Press Service.
For more information about CDC programs in the Fort McCoy community, call 608-388-2238/4124.