New CYSS Facility

FORT LEE, Va. (Feb. 17, 2011) -Fort Lee's Child, Youth and School Services is set to open two additional child development centers this spring.

The Sisisky Boulevard Child Development Center will accommodate approximately 129 full-day children from six weeks through preschool age, Sylvia Riley, CYSS outreach coordinator, said.

The standard design CDC will have attached administrative offices and feature 18,076-square-feet of building space. Offices for support administrative functions will include CYSS parent central services. Although the administrative offices and the child care center share a roof they do not share common spaces and each has its own separate entrance. The total cost to complete this military construction appropriated facility was approximately $5.2 million. Poor weather has delayed the opening that was projected for this month.

The staff at the Parent Central Services is looking forward to moving to the new building where an improved design will produce many benefits.

"We will be able to serve our customers in a more efficient manner as well as provide them with more privacy when registering for services," said Susan Crocker, an administrative clerk for CYSS.

Donna Nelson, CYSS chief, said she is thrilled the construction phases on these two projects are nearly complete and more Fort Lee children will benefit from the expanded services.

"I am excited that we are on the verge of opening additional CYSS facilities on Fort Lee," Nelson said. "The CYSS campus is becoming exactly what we envisioned it would be for all who live and work on Fort Lee."

Next to open this spring is the Multipurpose CDC, which is unique as it can be adapted for many uses, unlike the typical CDC designs. The facility includes two large multipurpose rooms and two activity rooms, a computer lab for youth and a demonstration kitchen that can be used for cooking classes.

Two core classrooms will provide space for hourly care and a part-day preschool program. The activity and multipurpose rooms will provide space for the SKIES instructional classes in addition to the kindergarten before- and after-school program.

The changes to Fort Lee's CYSS facilities aren't limited to new construction. Renovations at the Yorktown CDC are nearly completed. The center's classrooms and the kitchen underwent extensive remodeling. This CDC will add another Army Strong Beginnings Pre-School classroom for 4- and 5-year-olds who will attend kindergarten the following school year.

In the near future, an additional facility for older children will be constructed, although an exact start date hasn't been determined. To support the accelerated youth demand on many installations, the Army Chief of Staff approved funding to construct modular youth centers on 15 installations, including Fort Lee. The new youth center will offer nearly 20,000 square feet and its projected programs will accommodate 150 youths in grades 6-12.

Parent Central Services will be filling spaces in the two new centers through the existing waiting list. Anyone who is in need of full- or part-day child care for their children, to include expectant parents' unborn children, are encouraged to add their name to the waiting list by calling (804) 765-3852 or 765-3785.