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Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 11:58am

Ceremony For Juvenile Justice Center

Officials in Bibb County held topping out ceremony Tuesday for their new Juvenile Justice Center. County officials wore hard-hats as they watched workers place a final beam bearing their signatures.

The juvenile justice reform law Governor Nathan Deal signed earlier this year aims to keep low-risk offenders out of detention centers, the plan for the new facility fits with that goal.

"This facility will provide us with opportunities we've never had before, to work together with all the agencies locally to address [the] problems of children," said Bibb County Chief Juvenile Court Judge Tom Matthews.

The new facility will serve as a resource hub, connecting troubled youth with people who can help, said County Commission Chair Sam Hart. Bibb County ranks 10th in the state in the number of young people in detention centers.

“What we hope this will do is reduce those numbers and actually put them back into productive situations. Hopefully school,” Hart said.

The new building scheduled to be finished by late next spring and is being funded by a special sales tax voters approved in 2011.