Miami-Dade County Unveils New Children's Courthouse

Miami-Dade county has officially opened the doors to a brand new, multi-million dollar juvenile courthouse.

After 25 years in the making, the new juvenile courthouse, now known as the Children's Courthouse is finally a reality.

"And between the legislature and the Dade County Commission and the court system, we finally came to this," said Chief Judge Bertila Soto, 11th Judicial Circuit Court.

The grand opening ceremony got underway with judges, community leaders, members of the legal system and even former Governor Bob Graham.

The new courthouse cost about $140 million to build. It's located right next to the Department of Children and Families on 3rd street in Downtown Miami.

"They're able now to coordinate their efforts and do what's best for the child and that's what's really the significance and importance of this new courthouse," said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

This new 375-thousand square foot courthouse consolidates 17 agencies that deal with juvenile legal matters. It's 14 stories with 16 courtrooms.

"We have an opportunity to have all of the needs of the family and children met in one location," said Chief Judge Orlando Prescott, 11th Judicial Circuit Juvenile Division. "It's not bifurcated, it's not severed, it's all together."

The state of the art courthouse is surrounded by artwork, both inside and out, and it will be fully operational by the end of May.

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