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    New, State-of-The-Art Youth Center Opens on NAS Oceana

    Tony Rosa, NAS Oceana Public Affairs

    Naval Air Station Oceana hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the installations new Youth Center June 29. The center supports the military community with a state-of-the-art facility for children ages 5-18.

    The 16,684 square foot facility includes a vestibule, lobby, administrative offices, staff area, a snack prep area, large commons area, nine identified classrooms, a Teen Center, a closed circuit television system, child monitoring system, a rock wall and direct access to outdoor play areas.

    “This new facility gives children a wonderful place to learn and grow,” said NAS Oceana Commanding Officer Capt. Louis J. Schager. “The place looks amazing and I can’t wait to get inside to see what it has to offer.”

    Schager, as well as the Commanding Officer of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Rear Adm. Rick Williamson and honored guests, were given a tour following the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The tour included in-depth descriptions of each classroom and its function in the new center.

    “This is definitely something my daughters would love,” said Williamson. “There’s so much going on here and it seems like a great environment to learn and grow.”

    Some of the daily activities kids can participate in include computer games, drama, music---complete with a drum set and several guitars, a variety of arts and crafts, board games, and a library area to read books.

    The new Youth Center is a state-of-the-art facility, built with energy efficient and environmentally friendly technology in compliance with the Navy’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources.

    Along with the state-of-the-art facility, the staff is trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of the job.

    “In the music room we have a dedicated staff member who teaches our kids how to play and even read music,” said Youth Center Director Elizabeth Kettl. “Our staff is really caring and enthusiastic every day they come into work. The kids love them and they do a great job of helping the kids grow.”

    The facility is open year round and is currently offering an eleven-week summer camp program to children ages 5-18. In the fall, they offer before and after school programs to school-age children and a winter and spring break camp.