|By Tom Michele, Eagle Systems and Services
Using ceremonial scissors nearly as tall as some of the
participants, several children, parents and staff members cut the ribbon
at the entrance of Fort McCoy’s new $4.8 million Child Development
The ribbon is cut at the grand
opening of the new Child Development Center (CDC), held Oct. 19
at Fort McCoy. Cutting the ribbon is Fort McCoy Senior Commander
Maj. Gen. Glenn J. Lesniak (back, left), Garrison Commander Col.
David E. Chesser (back, center), Garrison Command Sergeant Major
Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr. (back, right), along
with Staff Sgt. Mary Guthrie (holding child) and Jason Guthrie,
and other CDC children.
(Photo by Allan Harding)
Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser told the crowd assembled for
the grand-opening ceremony the new 13,000-square foot facility in the
installation’s 1700 block provides 109 child care spaces.
“The former facility had four classrooms,” Chesser said. “This new
facility features eight classrooms and an activity room.”
Chesser said the installation’s original CDC opened Oct. 1, 1988 with a
capacity for 52 children. “However, over the years as the installation’s
mission has grown, so has the demand for child-care services.”
Construction of the facility took nine months and was completed in late
May, Chesser said. “Within days, a semi-truck carrying $55,000 worth of
toys and furnishings arrived, and, thanks to the efforts of a transition
team from the Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command, everything
was unloaded and placed in its proper place within the classrooms.”
“The center opened its doors for business Aug. 31 and every child that
has been waiting for child care has been able to enter the program and
gain access to this essential support service,” Chesser said. “This
significantly improves the installation’s ability to support the
Soldiers, families and civilians who live and work on Fort McCoy ... a
facility that demonstrates our commitment to delivery of the Army Family
Army leadership executed the Army Family Covenant in October 2007.
“This evolutionary agreement and commitment was reaffirmed by the
secretary of the Army, chief of staff of the Army and sergeant major of
the Army Oct. 5, just 14 days ago,” said Fort McCoy Senior Commander
Maj. Gen. Glenn J. Lesniak.
Fort McCoy’s senior leadership committed itself to delivery of the Army
Family Covenant in November 2007 by executing a symbolic signing of the
“Today we are here as a community to rededicate ourselves to the
covenant, to our pledge to take care of Soldiers and their families,” he
Maj. Gen. Glenn J. Lesniak, left,
Col. David E. Chesser, center, and Command Sgt. Maj. William T.
Bissonette Jr., re-sign the Army Family Covenant as part of the
Fort McCoy Child Development Center grand opening.
(Photo by Tom Michele)
Lesniak, Chesser and Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj.
William T. Bissonette Jr., each signed the covenant, as did their Fort
McCoy predecessors nearly two years ago.
“I can think of no better way to demonstrate this commitment than to
execute a re-signing of the Army Family Covenant and simultaneously
celebrate the grand opening of our new Child Development Center,”
Lesniak also said that later this year the installation will begin
construction of a new $7 million youth center adjacent to the Child
The installation also is executing an expansion of the Pine View
Campground with the addition of four new log cabins in 2010 with more to
follow. An Alpine Slide will be constructed at Whitetail Ridge in 2010
and the installation’s request for construction of a 100-room lodging
facility with activity center through a public-private venture remains
on track for possible construction in 2011. “These ventures will
increase recreational activities and further improve the quality of life
on the installation.”
“And all of this is in addition to the $63 million in renovation of
World War II wood facilities executed in 2009 to improve the quality of
life for the Soldiers who train at Fort McCoy,” Lesniak said.