By Tech. Sgt. Ray Bowden
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
Peterson is scheduled to receive approximately $30 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, released by the Office of Management and Budget March 23.
The ARRA funding will finance a multitude of wing projects ranging from new buildings, existing building renovations, road repair, and base-wide utility upgrades.
“At the top of our project list is building a new child development center for 250 children,” Col. Jay Raymond, 21st Space Wing commander said. “Our first CDC was built in 1976 and while it has served us well, it is operating at maximum capacity and is not adequate for our current need.”
While numerous child care centers exist in the Colorado Springs area, only three are accredited to Air Force standards and, according to the 2009 Economic Stimulus Package Project, fees charged by these facilities are two-to-three times the amount charged by Peterson’s current child development center.
“Considering that military families spend approximately $10,000 annually on child care, not to mention traveling extra-miles to use off-base facilities, it makes sense that we do our best to take care of our Airmen,” Colonel Raymond said.
According to William Schlepuetz, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron Engineering Flight chief, the contract process for these projects has begun, and the requirements for ensuring all of the projects are completed with flawless execution in a short timeline will be a challenge for wing personnel.
“The goal is to have construction contracts awarded by Aug. 31 with construction complete in the summer of 2011,” Mr. Schlepuetz said.
Developing and deploying warrior Airmen is one of the wing’s mission tenets, as well as providing superior installation support and protection to its 12,000 employees. These funds will be a boost toward creating better quality of life while supporting the space superiority missions of the wing and its 52 tenant units who benefit from these projects.
Colonel Raymond expressed pleasure at the prospect of improving the quality of life for both Peterson’s Airmen as well as the local community.
“This is a win for both sides of our fence-line,” he said. “While the funds will be directed toward Peterson, they will improve our local economy. It’s a win-win situation for the servicemembers of Peterson, for Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included approximately $7.4 billion in defense related appropriations. Roughly $1.7 billion benefits the Air Force.