VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story opened a new state-of-the-art child development center (CDC) with a ribbon cutting ceremony in Virginia Beach, Va., Jan. 27.
The ceremony opened with remarks from Capt. Charles Stuppard, commander, JEBLCFS; and Kathy Sage, Northeast Region Army Child and Youth Services lead specialist.
Stuppard said having a care provider center for service members is crucial to morale.
"We have a beautiful facility here," said Stuppard. "We have providers who care about the children."
"This place is wonderful," said Katherine Quinones, JEBLCFS CDC operations clerk. "We are open from six in the morning until six at night. As a parent and staff, it is very reassuring to know that my child is being cared for in a nurturing and sound environment while I am at work."
The new CDC is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (L.E.E.D.) facility which makes a positive impact on public health, the environment and helps create a sustainable community.
The center, built by Atlantic Marine Construction Company, is a $4.2 million dollar care facility with modern amenities and lots of open space for children to move and play. Careful consideration was given to the efficient use of the space and the staff-to-child supervision ratios.
The 10,354 sq. ft. facility consists of seven classrooms, training rooms and a large commercial kitchen. The welcome area has a full business operation lobby, a parent reception area and a manager's office. There are also three secured playground areas for different age groups.
"We provide care for children six weeks to five years of age," said Janet Jackson Boney, CDC director. "Currently, we have 23 staff members on board to provide care, and we are looking to hire more as the number of children increases."
The center has the capacity to accommodate 88 children.
"This center is very spacious and very nice," said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Cheri Patterson, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Operational Support Unit 10 (OSU10). "The children will get a lot of hands-on time with the toys and will have the opportunity to interact with the other children.
"I am very excited for my daughter, and I was even more excited myself when I entered the rooms," said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Shacaina Bowman, EOD OSU10. "I saw how spacious and safe the facility was. I am just happy the military cares about our families and opened up a better facility for the children."
Child and Youth Program Director Debra Wicks, is in charge of overseeing all care facilities aboard JEB Little Creek-Fort Story.
"This is an example of a wonderful collaboration between the Army and Navy," said Wicks. "Joint basing and working together on such a unique and special project has provided military and DOD families the best of both worlds."
For more news from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, visit www.navy.mil/local/jeblcfs/.