Action Line

***image2***At the Child Development Center at Vogelweh, the kids don’t have a playground, the toys are broken or don’t work, the only way that kids exercise is by walking on the streets and in the housing area. It has been one year since the playground was closed and the people who have the decision to fix it say that there is no money. We are all paying a lot of money and our kids don’t have anything. This is the worst CDC that my kids have been in … and nobody cares. Please, we need to make a report about it because parents don’t know about this situation and we need everybody to find out and get involved.
                    – Concerned parent

Thank you for raising your concerns and providing us the opportunity to address the steps taken specifically concerning the Vogelweh Child Development Program playgrounds. I have personally visited the Vogelweh CDC and after-school programs four times in the last six months and I am acutely aware of the playground issue. After my first visit in February, we completed a design for new playgrounds (Vogelweh, Sembach and Kapaun) and it is currently the No.1 funding priority by our services functional at the headquarters. However, the price tag is more than $2 million. This is due to the strict requirements directed by Air Force safety standards for playgrounds.  Meanwhile, compensatory measures instituted include the use of nearby housing playground and adjoining basketball courts. Toys are taken to these areas daily by support staff to aid children with exploring outdoor play. Additional materials were purchased to replace toys broken from routine use. We understand this has not been an ideal situation, but it was the best option we could implement.

Last year the toddler playground attached to Bldg. 1029 was leveled and reopened so all toddler and preschool children now have the opportunity to play on it daily.  Our pre-toddler playground has remained open throughout this time period.

Furthermore, we’ve already replaced the carpet at the Vogelweh CDC, at a cost of $34,000 and $60,000 has been set aside to do other needed repair work. Work orders have been coordinated to repair drainage issues, for the replacement of equipment, and for the addition of natural landscaping for all playgrounds at Vogelweh CDC. We have also spent $75,000 for a new gym floor for the School Age Program.  It is our goal to provide the best quality care and facilities to our children and to our outstanding professionals who work very hard to give our children the attention they deserve.

– Col. Earl Matthews
435th Air Base Wing commander