The expansion and renovation of the Lewis County Juvenile Court and Administration Building at 1255 SW Pacific Ave. in Chehalis reached a milestone on Wednesday, according to a news release from the county.
Completion of upgrades to the interior of the building allowed for the return of youth to the facility, the county announced.
Youths had been housed at the Cowlitz County Youth Detention facility during construction. In the new Lewis County Juvenile Justice Center, youths will receive educational and life skills programs, including mentorship services.
“I think we’ve made tremendous leaps forward in technology for different programs not available before,” said Lewis County Capital Facilities Manager Doug Carey. “A new courtroom was added to the building, along with additional program, meeting and office rooms accompanied by more outdoor recreational space for youth.”
“What we do is try and take advantage of every moment that we have someone in our facility, to invest and sew into the lives of young people something in ways that our community is going to reap those rewards for years to come,” added Lewis County Juvenile Court Administrator Shad Hail.
Renovating the juvenile facility is a priority of the county’s capital facilities plan, adding about 5,000 square feet to a building first built in the 1970s, according to the county.