OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A county board will consider buying property in downtown Omaha for what could become a new juvenile justice center.
The Douglas County Board is expected to deliberate resolutions April 24 for making formal offers to purchase two buildings and a parking lot. The property includes Omaha Housing Authority headquarters and a former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers building, the Omaha World-Herald reported .
Resolutions up for deliberation propose the county offer $2.75 million to the Housing Authority for its headquarters and $900,000 to Marcy Mason LLC for its property. The buildings would be demolished to make way for the new facilities.
The county hopes to use the property to create juvenile and family courtrooms and related services to replace cramped quarters in the Douglas County Courthouse across the street.
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Advocates for a juvenile justice center have pressed for new quarters for years. They said the juvenile courts have outgrown their space in former holding cells in the courthouse.
Children in court for family issues sometimes share hallways and waiting rooms with adults accused of child abuse because of the courthouse’s cramped space and layout.
The Douglas-Omaha Public Building Commission tried working with Metropolitan Utilities District officials to secure all or part of its downtown headquarters for a juvenile justice center. But talks fell through, leading to the county focusing on the location across from the courthouse.
Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com