Fort Benning celebrated Wednesday the grand opening of its $6.7 million School Age Services facility on Ingersoll Street.
The post’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. Michael Ferriter, was the guest speaker. Following his speech, Ferriter and other Fort Benning dignitaries also renewed the post’s commitment to Fort Benning families by re-signing the Army Family Covenant.
The symbolic covenant recognizes the commitments and sacrifices made by Army families and signifies the Army’s commitment to providing those families with strong, supportive environments.
“America’s strength is the Army and the Army’s strength is its soldiers and the soldier’s strength is derived from the families,” Ferriter said. “It’s no stretch to say, therefore, that the strength of America depends on the strength and the well-being and the resilience of our Army families.”
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The new child care facility is one of the first of Fort Benning’s completed Base Realignment and Closure projects built in support of Army families. Construction began in April 2008 and was completed May 1. The facility opened its doors on Aug. 7.
Capable of accommodating nearly 200 children of soldiers and Fort Benning civilian employees, the School Age Services Center provides child care before-and-after school and summer camps for children in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Located at Building 2653 on Ingersoll Street near Dexter Elementary School, the School Age Services facility is named for Staff Sgt. Terry Hemingway who was killed in Iraq in 2003 while serving with Fort Benning’s 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team.
Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington and Dr. Dell McMullen, superintendent of the Department of Defense Domestic Elementary and Secondary Schools for Georgia and Alabama districts, attended Wednesday’s ribbon cutting and covenant signing along with Candy Wojdakowski, wife of former Fort Benning commanding general, Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski.