Preschoolers from the New Horizons Child Development Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, attend an event in November 2015. (Michelle Gigante / US Air Force)
DAYTON, Ohio (Tribune Content Agency) – As prospects look good for congressional funding, construction of a new child development center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base could take several years, Major Support that center’s legislative representative, US Representative Mike Turner, said Tuesday.
“I think we’re pretty sure about the dollars we have in the bill,” Turner said at a press conference outside the Hope Hotel on Wright-Patterson.
A House Armed Services Committee vote last week included $ 24 million for a new Wright Patterson Child Development Center, one of the Air Force’s top unfunded priorities. The vote also provided $ 19 million for an Army Reserve training facility just outside the base’s fence line.
The bill has yet to go to a House-wide vote, although pre-conference committee work is underway to reconcile Senate and House defense spending, Turner said.
These projects take time. Turner noted that the steel is now ready for the new home of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), although the ground was broken for that center last November.
“Funding is for 2022,” said Turner, a Dayton Republican. “This would include the design and preparation of the site. As you’ve seen with NASIC, it’s just steel now. And it’s not because it’s a complex building; it’s just how long, how long does it take – there are environmental assessments that have to be done.
“It will take several years,” he added, referring to the construction project for the development of the child.
U.S. Representative Chris Stewart, R-Utah, who visited NASIC and the base with Turner before meeting with the press, said this type of project is important to military families.
“If your job … is very important to national security, you have to find a way for these parents to come to work and feel very comfortable,” said Stewart, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “If their own daycare is closed and they just can’t find that kind of help, it’s a real national security issue. “
Military documents obtained by this newspaper in June reported problems at the current day care center off base at Riverside, including “problems with deteriorating structural systems, failing utilities, and an infestation of insects and vermin (which ) interfere with the ability to provide quality care. and results in excessive service calls and causes the closure of childcare activities in some cases. “
The 88th Air Base Wing, the unit that acts as the owner of the sprawling Air Force base, said the children were not at risk at any of the base’s daycares.
“We’re expanding the facility, making it safer, bringing it to base,” Turner said.
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