CDC expansion

Megan Stanford, daughter of Tech. Sgts. John Stanford, 823rd RED HORSE Squadron, and Cynthia Stanford, 16th Maintenance Operations Squadron, does her share of digging during the groundbreaking Tuesday at the child development center.

Megan Stanford, daughter of Tech. Sgts. John Stanford, 823rd RED HORSE Squadron, and Cynthia Stanford, 16th Maintenance Operations Squadron, does her share of digging during the groundbreaking Tuesday at the child development center.

Hurlburt Field, Fla. -- Hurlburt Field leaders and children broke ground on the new child development center annex at 9 a.m. Tuesday. 

The $702,000 project, awarded to Artic Pipe & Materials, is scheduled for completion in about six months. 

“If anyone knows what it takes to go from an idea, to a design, having it contracted and receiving the funds, it could take anywhere from months to a little more than a year,” said Maj. Mark Russo, 16th Civil Engineer Squadron commander.

“Thanks to the help from services and contracting, the whole process took approximately six weeks,” Major Russo said. 

The lack of affordable childcare spaces had the highest interest by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and all branches of the military. OSD provided the funds for the increase in size and capacity for the existing programs, said Fred Walton, 16th Civil Engineer Squadron Situational awareness beacon with reply chief. 

“Few other bases qualified for the extra CDC funding, but Congress recognized our need,” said Col. Clifford “Skip” Day, 16th Mission Support Group commander. “With our high deployment rate, children are constantly using the CDC.” 

The 3,600-square-foot facility, which will be located directly behind the CDC, will provide 48 additional spaces for Hurlburt families, specifically, for children under age 2, a group that comprises 70 percent of the current childcare waiting list, said Mr. Walton. 

The available spaces are broken down into the following categories: 
–16 spaces for infants ages 6 weeks – 6 months 
–Eight spaces for infants ages 6 months – 12 months 
–10 spaces for children ages 1- 2 years 
–14 spaces for children ages 2- 3 years 

“There are more than 200 children on the waiting list for the CDC,” said Jamie Gries, 16th Services Squadron, Family Member Support Group Flight chief. “This new facility will at least make a dent in reducing that number.” 

The CDC expects to hire approximately 10 additional staff members to care for the large group of children, Ms. Gries said. 

“Having been named the number one CDC in the Air Force, the OSD tried to reward us for our excellence,” Colonel Day said.