Community for Children’s Justice close to finalizing property purchase | ParkRecord.com

Community for Children’s Justice close to finalizing property purchase

The Community for Children's Justice is days away from finalizing the purchase of a property that will serve as the new location for Summit County's Children's Justice Center thanks in part to a grant from Summit County.

The Community for Children's Justice was only about $200,000 shy of the $700,000 needed for a down payment on the property until Summit County pledged to contribute $250,000 to support the acquisition. The County Council was expected to approve the grant agreement on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

The nonprofit organization, which was formed to secure a standalone facility for the Children's Justice Center, is expected to close on the property on Oct. 15. It is located on Silver Summit Parkway, adjacent to the southbound U.S. 40 on-ramp.

"We are so excited for this," said Harry Kirschner, vice president of the Community for Children's Justice. "We are ready to move forward with our efforts to expand the programs and support services that are already available."

Summit County's Children's Justice Center is part of the Utah Attorney General's Office's Children's Justice program. It is one of 23 state-run facilities providing child-focused programs and operates under the auspices of the Summit County Attorney's Office. Officials with the Justice Center interview children and teenagers under 18 years old who have been victimized by abuse. The Children's Justice Center is currently located in the Sheldon Richins Building in Kimball Junction.

Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson said the acquisition is an "amazing and perfect solution" for the county. She added, "It's perfect, private and accessible to North Summit, South Summit and Park City."

Recommended Stories For You

Olson said members of the Community for Children's Justice board of directors asked her whether the County would be willing to make a financial contribution after the property was identified as a suitable location. Operation of the Children's Justice Center is funded by the Summit County and Park City governments, as well as the Utah Legislature, federal grants and private donations.

"The Council was acutely aware that we needed a new home and felt that the $250,000 request was not unreasonable," she said. "We are looking to Park City Municipal to make a contribution. Park City does give a grant every year. But, we are looking for them to do something a little extra like Summit County did to contribute to the acquisition."

While the Community for Children's Justice will own the property, it will lease the facility to the county for $1 a year. The county will largely be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the building, while the Community for Children's Justice will take care of major capital repairs. The County Council was set to review the lease agreement on Wednesday.

The Community for Children's Justice is in the middle of a capital campaign to raise about $2 million to cover necessary renovations, as well as the creation of an endowment to keep the facility operational. Kirschner said the property will be ready to serve as the new Children's Justice Center sometime in 2019.

"We are not far enough in the planning to say when it will open," he said. "We are obviously looking for builders and other contractors to donate services or materials in kind, in addition to running a capital campaign. We are hoping since it is a relatively small ask that it will be pretty quick for us to raise the rest of the funds needed and break ground on the retrofit as soon as possible."

A community open house is scheduled at the new property later this month from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. Christie Hind, executive director of the Children's Justice Center, said the event will enable attendees to understand how the property will be transformed into a suitable space to serve victims.

"It will be an opportunity for everyone in the community — families, kids, parents and potential donors — to come see the property and begin to understand our vision," she said.

For more information about the open house and the Community for Children's Justice, go to

http://www.ccjsummitcounty.wildapricot.org/.