The St. George community gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new Washington County Children’s Justice Center building on Wednesday.  

Supported by several local businesses and community representatives, the new building will be across from the first building which has been at its location since 2008. the Washington County CJC website said. However, St. George has had a Children’s Justice Center in the area since 1997. With the need for its services growing the center will now have two buildings and a lot more space.  

The CJC helps abused children get the help they need, and the team acts as advocates for the children while also providing healing services. Since it provides services like therapy, forensic interviews, medical services, and other useful resources a child victim might need, it reached many areas of the community. 

Intermountain Healthcare has been a huge supporter of the center and the medical care is provided by Primary Children’s Safe and Healthy Families. Several Intermountain Healthcare employees could be seen at the ground-breaking.  

Both St. George City Mayor Michele Randall and Washington City Mayor Kress Staheli were at the event as well and had advocated for the CJC to receive help for the new building.  

“Unfortunately, I know many people who have had to come through those doors and as heartbreaking as that is, the people that work here are truly angels. I don't know how they do it day in and day out,” Randall said.  

Randall also recognized the police agencies around the county who also interact daily with abuse victims.  

Local businesses also teamed up to work on the new CJC building and built the original back in 2008. Watts Construction Inc and MRW Design Architects Inc representatives spoke during the groundbreaking.  

“Our design philosophy is to have appropriate responsive design, obviously for your community, the neighborhood, and for what the client or the owner needs to have done,” MRW Architect Jeff Mathis said. “So, this building as we've designed, you know, fits into the residential neighborhood. It's meant to [make it so] when the children arrive here, they feel comfortable, and they feel at home and can be at peace.” 

The facility will be roughly 11,000 square feet and host the growing population of children needing the CJC. 

Call the Utah 24-hour child abuse hotline if you or someone you know needs help at 1-855-323-3237 

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