DVIDS – News – Huntsville Center designs and delivers the Army’s largest child development center

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville (Huntsville Center) designed and purchased furnishings for a new, state-of-the-art child development center at Fort Wainwright Fairbanks, Alaska. The largest CDC in the military will be unveiled on June 4, which will be a major milestone in providing quality child care to families in the region.

The new facility represents a growth in Huntsville Center’s capabilities and a significant investment in the well-being of families stationed in Alaska’s rugged interior.

Michael Johnson, Huntsville Center architect, explained how the project for Huntsville Center’s client, Installation Management Command G9 Child and Youth Services, determined the need to create a new team to update an outdated standard designer furniture package for this CDC and to develop and improve future facilities.

“Huntsville Center’s Architecture Branch Center of Standardization (COS) pioneered the development of a procurement package for Standard Design Furniture Fixtures and Equipment that began in 2021 as an effort to meet the needs of the Installation Management Command G9 Child and Youth Services to a turnkey CDC facility,” Johnson said.

“Working with Huntsville Center’s Interior Design Branch and Furnishings Program, in anticipation of the completion of this project and a wave of new CDC facilities being built around the world, is a prototype for all Army COS Standard furniture procurement packages facility type.”

Jennifer McDowell, project manager of the Huntsville Center Centralized Furnishings Program, explained how this effort is the first of many CDC furniture packages to come out of Huntsville Center.

“Huntsville Center was able to source the furniture for Wainwright’s CDC, and on upcoming projects our team will have a greater impact on the design of the furniture,” said McDowell.

“Design Services is working with the COS to develop and maintain standards for furniture, fixtures and equipment, which will become furniture purchases from the Huntsville Center’s Centralized Furnishings Program for the Army’s future CDCs. They will also provide design reviews of CDC designs prepared by the responsible district.”

Huntsville Center is one of nine centers for standardization established by the Director of Military Programs in March 2006. Huntsville Center is the COS for CDCs for infants to children six years old, CDC for children six to ten years old, and youth centers for high school students. and teenagers, among other types of facilities.

Johnson further detailed the team effort for the multi-year process.

“The Army’s construction process is a five-year effort, from planning to design and construction. Because the CDC was a design-build facility and the tight schedule existed, the COS led the efforts to complete the standard furniture procurement package and design reviews of furniture fixtures and equipment packages.”

The Center’s COS supported the development of the Army Standard, Standard Design and Standard Criteria, while providing design oversight and construction support to USACE districts involved in the construction of the new 43,623 square feet of CDC and 38,311 square feet of outdoor play space. .

She explained how the building was to be uniquely tailored to the needs of children ranging from infants to preschoolers, ensuring a safe, nurturing and educational environment.

“Most projects we work on focus on the soldier, but for this project the team prioritized caring for the end user – the children and staff,” said Johnson.

“The design and furnishings have really taken the children into account to create an environment that supports learning, growth and development.”

Johnson specifies some of the modifications to the standard design required for the unique CDC.

“We had to adapt the standard design to meet some of the unique requirements due to the extreme climate. Some of these include artic entries, brighter color palettes and a large multi-purpose room.”

The 4,000-square-foot multi-purpose space was added to provide a safe place for activities during cold, dark winter days and a safe location for evacuation emergencies in extreme weather conditions.

The new child development center will accommodate up to 338 children under the age of five, significantly increasing the facility’s childcare capacity.

Carol Athnos, head of design services for the Interior Design Branch, said after speaking with staff at the new CDC that this expansion is especially critical given the remote location where access to quality childcare may be limited.

“Based on conversations with staff, finding child care can be a challenge for soldiers and the families stationed there. The new facility will provide a new choice and help improve their quality of life,” said Athnos.

The design of the child development center is aligned with the Army’s larger priorities of improving the quality of life for servicemembers and their families.

The Army-wide initiative focuses on improving infrastructure and services at military bases across the country to enhance the quality of life for soldiers, civilian employees and family members.

“The Center’s COS team is proud to respond to our customers’ needs in support of the Army’s mission to provide Soldiers with a better quality of life,” Johnson said.

Date of recording: 29.05.2024
Date posted: 29.05.2024 15:40
Story ID: 472482
Place: AK, USA

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