Construction work on Pine Bluff Arsenal has been plentiful this year -- from energy saving work in various mission areas, to the completions of the new Army Reserve Center and pool/concessions areas. Now the area around the Arsenal's Child, Youth and School Services Center is about to get very busy in the next few months as construction begins on the new Child Development Center Annex.

According to information from Missy Brodnax, director of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, construction will begin later in October, as seven modular units arrive on the site. "The structure will look strange and rather ugly at first but once it is complete it will look exactly like the outside of the current facility," she said.

Col. Franz Amann, Arsenal commander will hold a ground breaking ceremony for the facility at 4 p.m., Oct. 17.

The facility, which will be located adjacent to the current facility (the open space between CYSS and the fitness center), is expected to be completed six months after the arrival of these units -- somewhere in the April-May 2012 timeframe for project completion.

"I see this building as a bright spot for the community," said Debbie Johnson, Child, Youth, and School Services Coordinator.

The building will house space for approximately 41 children with rooms for infants, toddlers and a pre-school. "We will also have a strong beginnings program which is a part-day pre-school," said Johnson.

Most of the work on the units is done off site, said Brodnax. "When they get here they just have to put it together," she said. "So the construction work is rather quick. The building also will come fully furnished with a team that comes in and sets everything up."

More staff will be required for the new facility and three rooms will have to have care giving staff, according to Brodnax. "We are unsure at this time about exact staffing numbers," she said.

Johnson said that the annex will essentially just be an exact copy of the existing facility. "The current facility will stay exactly the same. We are just expanding our services," she said. "We have pretty much outgrown what we have now and just need more spaces for children. We really need this facility. It is an exciting and awesome time for CYSS."