|Secretary Ken Salazar reads to children at the new childcare center in the Main Interior Building during a Dec. 11 event to celebrate the opening of the center. (Kneeling at far left is Gwendolyn Mayfield, the center's director.) Photo by Tami Heilemann, DOI Office of Communications.
|From left, DOI Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh, GSA Commissioner Dorothy Robyn, Secretary Ken Salazar, Childcare Center Director Gwendolyn Mayfield, and DOI Deputy Assistant Secretary Andrew Jackson on Dec. 11 cut the ribbon for the new childcare center at Main Interior. Photo by Tami Heilemann, DOI Office of Communications.
On Dec. 11 Secretary Ken Salazar, along with others from the Department of the Interior and the General Services Administration, celebrated the opening of the new childcare center at the Main Interior Building.
Before a group of parents, and children, Salazar welcomed the center as the newest addition to this historic building and extended a special thanks to DOI Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh and DOI Deputy Assistant Secretary Andrew Jackson for their leadership in making it a reality.
With the GSA commissioner (Dorothy Robyn) and others from GSA in attendance, Salazar also thanked them for their partnership and expertise in constructing this model childcare center. In an effort to continue to promote the ultimate in sustainability practices, Salazar said, the center is also close to achieving LEED certification.
Salazar also welcomed and acknowledged the childcare center provider (Bright Horizons) as a recognized premium provider of employee-sponsored childcare across the country. “We are delighted to partner with Bright Horizons”, Salazar said, and “look forward to working with them to enrich their curriculum to include educational content related to our department's rich history and mission.”
In addition to Salazar, Suh and Robyn also delivered remarks at the opening of the center. Following their remarks, they joined Salazar, Jackson and center director Gwendolyn Mayfield to cut the ribbon to the center.
Along with Mayfield, Salazar visited several of the classrooms and received greetings from very excited and vocal toddler at each area.
In the multi-age room, a space within the center where children of varying ages play together, Salazar read a story to a group of very attentive and responsive children.
The new center, which opened on Nov. 13, currently has 64 children of various ages enrolled, with a total capacity of 76 in all groups. Many of the children from the former center at GSA have transferred to the new center at MIB. While transitioning to a new center can be a challenging experience for both parents and children, the staff and facilities office have done a great job trying to make it as smooth as possible.
The new center occupies half of the MIB's 1200 wing and features bright, colorful spaces and classrooms with names such as eagles, bears, ravens and frogs. While the spaces are inviting, it's the teachers and staff (most from the old center at GSA) who have provided a welcomed consistency during the move.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the center can contact the department's Child Care Center program manager by phone at (202) 208-1716 or email at: William_brannon@nbc.gov.
By: Bill Brannon, building management specialist, DOI
Dec. 21, 2012