CACHE COUNTY – The on-again, off-again grand opening of Cache County’s new Children’s Justice Center is on again and this time it’s for real.
County Executive David Zook made that announcement during the regular meeting of the Cache County Council on Tuesday, saying that the public is invited to an open house at the new facility from 3 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29.
“The actual ribbon-cutting is set for 4 p.m.,” he added.
The new CJC facility will be operated by the Victim Services section of the Cache County Attorney’s Office at 339 East, 800 North St. in the Adams neighborhood of Logan.
The mansion-like property was acquired by Cache County in fall of 2020 and remodeled with $1.4 million in federal funds from the CARES Act.
The center’s grand opening was originally set for June 2, but had to be rescheduled due to unexpected delays in its remodeling process.
Zook has explained that a new facility was needed because the CJC’s operations had outgrown its current location 1362 North, 400 West. He added that the new center will provide services that will help to limit the trauma felt by youthful victims of crime and abuse while speeding their healing processes.
The new CJC facility is a 6,000 square foot, seven-bedroom, 4.5-bath three-story structure with a picturesque tower room overlooking 800 North St. The former home boasts a spacious kitchen, a sunroom, a formal dining room, two family rooms, a sitting room, a game room and a play room. The house is set somewhat back from the street and has a deep backyard with winding garden paths.
Since fall of last year, contractors have been modifying the structure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and creating a medical facility, office spaces, interview rooms, observation rooms and a crisis therapy center.
Use of CARES Act funding to acquire and remodel the property was justified because the county’s current facilities for services to youthful victims of abuse and neglect were overwhelmed by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to County Attorney James Swink.
The Cache County CJC is a child-friendly facility where victims of child abuse are interviewed and medically assessed by professionals specifically trained in the forensic investigation of abuse.
Rather than having a child endure multiple interviews while being taken from agency to agency throughout the law enforcement and child protection systems, agency professionals come together at the CJC in a collaborative approach that results in effective, efficient and child-centered casework.
The new CJC facility is ideally suited for those purposes, according to county Victim Services Director Terryl Warner.
“It’s spacious enough for us to do several interviews at one time, plus medical exams if necessary,” she explained when the property was acquired. “The house even has different entrances that we could use to provide privacy and social distancing.”