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Ground breaking for CJC

Shelley Wright along with Kizzie Ellington and Allie break ground for the Children's Justice Center in Castle Dale.
Skyler Carpenter and Colton Miller will be part of the construction crew that builds the Children's Justice Center.
Emery County Commissioner Gary Kofford at the ground breaking for the Children's Justice Center.


The Emery County Children's Justice Center is closer to becoming a reality. The official ground breaking ceremony took place on Sept. 19. The ground has been prepared and the foundation is already in place. The Emery High construction class will be constructing the Children's Justice Center under the direction of Jim Keele, construction teacher at Emery High.

The Emery County School District donated the land for the center. The Emery County Municipal building authority will be the owners of the building which will be leased to the state of Utah for the Children's Justice Center.

Emery County had a Children's Justice Center a few years ago, but the building was sold which left the CJC homeless. Currently children in need of the services provided by a CJC have to go to the Price Center or interviews are conducted in the office in Castle Dale which isn't a very friendly place for children in crisis.

Everyone has been involved in support of the center. Castle Dale City waived all water connection fees and associated costs for the center. The construction class will construct the building for only the cost of the building materials.

Shelley Wright director from the CJC said they would like to involve the community in decorating the center when it is complete next May. You can volunteer to decorate a room for the center. The new center will look like a regular residence with a homey atmosphere to put the children at ease.

State funding to the center is secure and will remain at the same level which is between $28-30,000 per year. This is an adequate amount for the center and these funds have remained steady in the past.

When the Emery County Center opens it will stay open. It has been a hardship in the past when Emery County residents have had to travel to Carbon County for these services.

In the event of a default the center has been designed so it could be sold as a single dwelling home.

The staff from the CJC and all parties involved are happy the project is finally underway. At the ground breaking, Commissioner Gary Kofford gave the background on the project. "Emery County is happy to be involved in this worthwhile project. We are doing it for the little ones."

Wright thanked everyone for their involvement in the project. Keele said he is glad to have his class involved in the project. They construct one home each school year and this year they are happy to be a part of a worthwhile project such as the CJC.

Ed Clark with the Emery County School District vocational education program said the school district is happy to take part in the project. They donated the land and will be constructing the center. The students will learn skills that will last them a lifetime and could provide future employment for them. The CJC is a wonderful project for the students to be involved in for their construction class.

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