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Best thing about new CDC: Everything!

Jan. 29, 2010 --      It's been a long time coming, but it was well worth the wait. At least that was the sentiment summed up by everyone as the brand new, state-of-the-art Child Development Center held its official ribbon-cutting ceremony here Tuesday, with Brig. General Edward L. Bolton, Jr., commander, 45th Space Wing, serving as the presiding officer.
     In 1976, building 946, the old Child Development Center, was an AAFES cafeteria that was renovated into a child development center.
     Later, in 1978, a nearby Pan Am building was combined with the existing CDC to expand child care spaces.
     "It's as important as anything we do from our mission perspective," said Gen. Bolton. "This facility allows parents not to worry while they are out there doing their mission."
      The general also thanked two people in particular, Mr. Michael Wage, deputy director, 45th Force Support Squadron, and Ms. Pamela Jordan, Chief, Airman and Family Services Flight, who he said "had a vision and never lost sight of it."
     "I was here nine years ago when we had the dream," said Mr. Wage. "It's an investment in the littlest members of our community. It's fantastic."
     There are also numerous improvements in the new building that will benefit both faculty and children.
     "Some of the most important improvements are the larger classrooms which create higher quality learning environments, additional technology in both classroom and administrative arenas, and more space for staff to prepare lesson plans, conduct training and meet with parents, which was all previously done in classrooms," said Susan Pollock, CDC Chief.
     "The building is specifically designed for children, with environmental issues taken into account, including safer playgrounds," she said.
     Currently the facility will accommodate all of the children on the waiting list, including infants and preschoolers.
     In February, another classroom for two-year-olds is scheduled to be opened and rooms will continue to be added over the next few weeks as needed.
     When asked what she considered the "best thing" about the new center, Ms.
Pollock came back instantly with a one word answer.
     "Everything," she said.