Fort McCoy News July 24, 2015

Grand-opening ceremony held for new SAC/YC

Public Affairs Staff

Fort McCoy's new School-Age Center/Youth Center (SAC/YC) officially opened during a grand-opening ceremony July 8 at the facility.

The center, building 1792, was constructed by the Atlantic Marine Construction Company Inc. of Virginia Beach, Va. The more than $7 million cost was paid with money from Army Family Covenant funds. Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott said the new center is a major improvement for the installation's Child, Youth and Student Services (CYSS) program at the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR).

Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. DeeAnn K. Dunstan; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Director Patric D. McGuane; retired Sgt. Maj. and Medal of Honor recipient Kenneth Stumpf; Family members Delaney and Reid Spolum; and Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott cut the ribbon during the grand-opening ceremony for the new School-Age Center/Youth Center in early July.

"This is special," Nott said. "It's a big day (for Fort McCoy's CYSS program) and is a day that has been a long time coming. We have an Army Teen Panel member … who has seen a great many of the school-age services out there in the Army, to include the one at (Installation Management Command) Headquarters at Joint Base San Antonio, and she has assured me that this blows them all away. We should be very, very proud. This facility is second to none."

Until the new SAC/YC was constructed, the program had operated out of World War II-era buildings.

"This new building is a huge improvement for our programs," said CYSS Coordinator Jan Fink of DFMWR. "Everything is better and bigger in this new building compared to what we've had in the past."

The building's many new amenities include activity rooms, a demonstration kitchen, a teen room, a playground, a computer-technology lab, a homework center, an arts-and-crafts room, and a multipurpose room equipped with basketball hoops and other sports equipment.

The facility is located next to the Child Development Center (CDC), making it convenient for parents who have children in programs at both facilities and providing additional space for the Strong Beginnings pre-kindergarten class, Fink said.

SAC/YC Director Cori Yahnke said the center's staff has been working from the new facility since June 8, and they've enjoyed it.

"The new facility opens even more opportunities for Fort McCoy youth and Families," she said. "It gives us the opportunity to expand our programs and have more things available for all who use our facilities. With the addition of the multipurpose room, especially, we are able to plan to do more in the winter and during inclement weather."

The SKIESUnlimited program also has greater opportunities to expand its capabilities, Yahnke said. SKIESUnlimited is an acronym for "School of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration, and Skills," with the word "Unlimited" representing the unlimited possibilities the program can offer Army children and youth. The new SAC/YC offers two classroom areas for the program.

Nott said the completion of the project is a fulfillment of a promise. "This new School Age Center/Youth Center is indicative of the Army's promise to take care of its Families — both Department of the Army civilians and its Soldiers," he said.

The SAC/YC offers a full program for youth in grades kindergarten through 12, and is affiliated with 4-H Club and the Boys & Girls Club of America. For details, call 608-388-4373.