Gridley Lane CDC Project expands capacity and capability for CFAY

The newly-opened 77,000 sq. ft. Gridley Lane Child Development Center on Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, resulted in the creation of more than 40 jobs on the instillation as well as expanding childcare capabilities from 80 to 140 children. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Ian Cotter)
The newly-opened 77,000 sq. ft. Gridley Lane Child Development Center on Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, resulted in the creation of more than 40 jobs on the instillation as well as expanding childcare capabilities from 80 to 140 children. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Ian Cotter)

Gridley Lane CDC Project expands capacity and capability for CFAY

by Charlie Maib
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, YOKOSUKA – John N. Peukert, deputy district engineer for the Programs and Project Management Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan Engineer District, took part in a ribbon cutting and grand opening tour of the Gridley Lane Child Development Center situated on Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Dec. 11. The ceremony was also attended by Capt. Rich Jarrett, CFAY commanding officer, Rear Adm. Brian Fort, Navy Region Japan commander, and Cmdr. Ben Waite, CFAY public works officer.

The $12 million project was completed by a U.S.-Japan alliance team comprised of subcontractors from both U.S., Okinawa, and mainland Japan, as well as Commander Naval Installations Command, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, CFAY’s Public Works Department, and the Child and Youth Program.

Covering more than 17,000 sq. ft. the child development center will provide the largest area on the installation for children to learn, play, and grow. The project also includes four playground areas, totaling more than 10,000 sq. ft., specifically designed and crafted for infants, pre-toddlers, toddlers, and preschoolers.

“We now have a facility that will accommodate almost twice the number of children of our current child development center, from 85 children to over 140,” Jarrett said during the ceremony. “This expansion in capacity and facilities could not come at a more critical time with COVID-19 continuing its winter surge, the facility will allow us to further distribute our child care options among multiple facilities so that a single infection is less likely to impact an entire facility and suspend our child care operations.”

According to Tommy Rose, USACE JED’s Honshu Area Office engineer, beyond providing safety and security for service member’s most vulnerable family members, the child development center is a testament to the fiscal responsibility that the district is committed to.

“During the course of construction, our contractor was able to utilize many items produced here in Japan as acceptable alternatives to U.S. specified materials,” he explained. “These materials included air conditioning units, walk-in freezers and refrigerators, ceiling systems as well as cabinetry and countertops.”

“This results in a much lower cost of maintenance and less down time to the operator since parts and service, if and when needed, are available locally instead of waiting for materials from the United States," added Rose.

The facility serves as another reminder of JED’s irreplaceable role in the region according to Peukert.

“As the defense construction agent for Japan, we often think of delivering capability in terms for facilities and infrastructure intended for ships, aircraft and vehicles,” said Peukert, reflecting on the facility tour and the events of the day. “Delivering 'social infrastructure' is just as an important of a mission. Providing the facilities for communities that allow service members and civilian to do their jobs may be even be more important. This facility serves the most valuable members of our community, our future.”

Japan Engineer District is headquartered at Camp Zama and operates field offices throughout Japan. The District executes the Japan Host Nation Funded Construction and U.S. MILCON programs as the Department of Defense design and construction agent. The District supports U.S. Forces and other agencies with quality, professional and comprehensive planning, engineering, construction, environmental and other value-added services.

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