New childcare center near Savannah River Site could become reality

·2 min read

Aug. 6—Savannah River Site workers with children may soon have a more convenient option for childcare services.

The Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization recently issued a request for information to learn the costs of building a childcare facility near but not on the site located southeast of Aiken.

The SRS Community Reuse Organization serves as the community relations arm of the Department of Energy's Savannah River office.

"I hope this project will lead to a highly appreciated benefit for many parents at SRS and the surrounding communities," Rick McLeod, president and CEO of the community reuse organization, said in a news release.

Site employees have long been seeking childcare services conveniently located near the SRS perimeter, according to the release.

Although the childcare center would be located near the site, it would be operated independently and would be open to anyone wishing to send their children there within space limitations.

Plans call for the organization to purchase property from Aiken County near New Ellenton for the facility and then donate the land to the company selected to build the childcare center.

McLeod said the initiative may not have materialized without determination and enthusiastic support from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.

SRNS, a joint venture company led by Fluor along with Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell, is the manager and operator of SRS for the Department of Energy.

The release adds that SRNS facilitated conversations between the SRS Community Reuse Organization and Aiken County and that Aiken County has agreed to consider the proposed real estate sale.

The company's employees also led a group to research commercial entities, benchmarked early childhood learning programs, and collected information which determined the strong need for a childcare facility.

Other contractors at the site unanimously endorsed the prospect of having a commercial facility located near the site.

The next step will be for the SRS Community Reuse Organization to receive oral presentations from vendors interested in building and operating a childcare center.

Once those presentations happen, the SRS Community Reuse Organization will issue a request for proposal and select a winning bidder.