Parris Island to add $8M child-care facility to recruit depot

September 30, 2009 

  • Work continues on a $78.4 million barracks complex for the depot's third recruit battalion. Crews are expected to finish the first two phases of the project by November 2010, said Darren Williams, senior vice president of operations for Walton Construction, the Louisiana contractor building the barracks. Williams said a string of thunderstorms earlier this summer challenged the project's schedule. "We're working on the coast so we anticipate some precipitation, but that rain was torrential and there was lots of lightning," Williams said. "It didn't set us back too much, and we're on track to finish by the schedule completion date." The last phase of the project is expected to be completed in April 2011.

Add a child care center to the growing list of new facilities coming soon to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

A$8.4 million, 27,775-square foot child development center for the depot was approved by the Navy earlier this month. It will help reduce the waiting list for on-base child care for Marines and sailors at Parris Island, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Naval Hospital Beaufort, said Amy Banks, administrator of Children, Youth and Teen Programs for Marine Corps Community Services.The depot's child development center has a waiting list of 51 children as of Sept. 24, according to the program's Web site. Defense Department employees at all three bases also are eligible for on-base child care.

The new, one-story child development center will provide full-day, part-day and hourly child care for 200 to 305 children of Marines and Defense Department civilian employees, said Sue Brink, NAVFAC spokeswoman.

The new facility will have 16 classrooms and will accommodate 52 more children than the existing facility, Banks said.

The work is expected to begin by the end of the year and end in March 2011.

The child care center is one of several new or renovated buildings scheduled to open at Parris Island in the next two years.

Construction on a $78.4 million barracks facility for 3rd Recruit Battalion will be completed in 2010, and $10 million in stimulus-funded energy efficiency projects are underway at the depot.

The depot opened a $3.6 million youth center in July and is expected to reopen Traditions -- a restaurant housed in the former officer's club-- this fall after $2.9 million in renovations.

Though not directly linked to the depot's mission of "making Marines," improving facilities is a critical undertaking for the 94-year-old base, said Maj. Gabrielle Chapin, spokeswoman for the depot.

"We can't do our important mission without taking the best care of our families, too," Chapin said.

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