New child development center opens at Ford Island

Senator Daniel K. Inouye; Capt. Jeffrey James, commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and Rear Adm. Frank Ponds, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, participate in a traditional Hawaiian blessing with Kahu Kordell Kekoa during a Oct. 24 grand opening ceremony for the new Ford Island Child Development Center (CDC). U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Michael Holzworth

Brandon Bosworth

Staff Writer

The Ford Island Child Development Center (CDC) had its grand opening on Oct. 24. Speakers at the ceremony included U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye and Capt. Jeffrey James, commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

James stressed the new facility’s environmental friendliness. “We are committed to being good stewards of the environment,” he said.

The $15.9 million, 37,404-square foot facility earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold rating. LEED is an internationally recognized “green” building certification system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council for the design and construction of top performing green structures, schools, homes, and communities. The new CDC incorporates features such as low-flow plumbing fixtures, Energy Star appliances, solar water heating, and an efficient air conditioning system.

The new Child Development Center is environmentally aware in another way as well.

“This new facility will provide a nurturing environment for our children,” said Capt. James. “It will help those at sea or on the flight line to rest easily knowing their children are taken care of.”

Inouye spoke about how the Admiral Clarey Bridge to Ford Island played a major part in the building of the new CDC. “It started with a bridge,” he said.

The bridge made access to Ford Island much easier than in the past when getting to the island required taking one of the harbor ferries. With easier access, there were new opportunities for development, such as the CDC.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Child Development Centers are designed to be a home away from home for children of working parents. They are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and certified every year by the Department of Defense.

The 37,404-square foot Ford Island CDC contains 24 flexible activity rooms, a 1,200- square foot commercial kitchen, laundry and restroom facilities, storage, training rooms, and administrative spaces. The floor plan allows classroom windows to overlook central courtyards that feature new playground equipment. It can accommodate over 300 children, ranging in age from six weeks to five years.

Under JBPHH, there are currently 10 CDCs accommodating more than 1,200 children. The Ford Island CDC is the fourth to open this year.

Pastor Kahu Kordell Kekoa led the invocation, blessed the building, and oversaw the untying of a maile lei, the Hawaii version of a ribbon cutting.

“We welcome the child development center to life,” he said.

The opening of the new child development center on Ford Island means more parents will be able to take advantage of CDC services, as the current centers have long waiting lists.

“Once the center is fully staffed and operational, the waiting list will be significantly shorter,” said Charles Kreisman, deputy director of JBPHH Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

“This beautiful, brand new facility is just the type of thing those stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam deserve,” he added.

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