County juvenile facility opens

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It took five years, but the ribbon has officially been cut on the Denton County Juvenile Detention Center expansion.

Denton County officials, staff members and others were on hand for the Tuesday morning ceremony that included refreshments, tours of the facility and brief remarks from Matt Marick, assistant director of juvenile probation.

“This provides the department with greater access, with more options for the juvenile offenders in Denton County,” Marick said.

The $15.7 million addition added 32 beds, eight classrooms, a cafeteria with an auditorium, an administration area and a visitation area.

The juvenile center staff members had previously been working out of four portable buildings.

The project was paid for by 2010 Permanent Improvement Bonds and came in $2 million under budget.

Marick said students who have been expelled from regular school will be served by the building through the Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program.

The 32 beds are for those who have been ordered to be in that program and that facility by the juvenile court.

The addition is part of the master plan for the entire campus, which includes the county courthouse, jail and juvenile center.

County Judge Mary Horn, who sits on the county’s juvenile board and was one of the first people to tour the facility a few weeks ago, said it was everything she had hoped for and more.

“I think the staff did a really good job in the planning, paying attention to detail and the ultimate outcome is great,” she said. “It’s going to meet our needs for, hopefully, a long time to come.”

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