ILLESHEIM, Germany - The new School Age Center at Storck Barracks opened on June 15 and special guest, Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, U.S. Army Europe commander, and his newest friends cut the ribbon marking the official opening.

A group of USAG Ansbach SAC students sang a rendition of “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood as Hertling walked up to the door of the center.

The brand-new building, which took less than a year to build, is near the Bunch Physical Fitness Center. It was designed specifically as a SAC with one room for a child care center.

According to Amy Meyer, director, USAG Ansbach SAC, the building came complete with all the furnishings.

“We got all new supplies,” Meyer said “the building came with video games, science kits, even a library with books. We used to be in a building across from the bowling alley. It was about one-quarter the size of the current area. This is such an improvement.”

Students who attend the SAC can arrive at 5:45 a.m., stay until 8 a.m., and then go to school, return at 2 p.m. and leave by 6 p.m. During the summer the SAC is open all day, from 5:45 a.m. until 6 p.m.

During the school year, a computer lab has computers to help students do their homework. A gymnasium offers an opportunity to play a variety of ball games.

Inside is a kindergarten room, cafeteria and game room, arts and science room, kitchen, a hallway filled with lockers, and administrative areas. An outdoor playground provides slides and a soft landing when you fall.

During the summer SAC programs include field trips to local places such as the Play Mobile Fun Park and the Nuremberg Zoo. The center also offers horseback riding as well as a large variety of arts and crafts.

The new SAC is just a little over 15,000 square feet of inside space, with nearly 4,000 square feet of outside area. The building, its contents and the playground cost $5 million.

Now that the center has room for more children Meyer is looking forward to filling up the building to its capacity of 104 children.