St. Johns County officially opened its new Health and Human Services building Thursday that county workers say will provide critical services to the residents in St. Johns.
"If they have a need, we are here for them, and I think that's the most important thing we can ever let anybody know," says Rachael Bennett, chair of county commission.
Bennett cut the ribbon to officially open the new Health and Human Services Building in St. Johns County.
According to Bennett, "It was in a very old building. It had reached the end of its useful life and we could've put $4.5 million worth of Band-Aids on the building or we could've invested in a brand new facility, and we chose the latter, because we're looking at the long-term benefits to the county and this is the result."
The new building cost about $12 million to build, $8 million of which came from Lowe's, the previous property owner.
The new building is about 75,000 square feet, with five different agencies; mental health services, Florida Department of Health, Department of Children and Families, St. Johns Veterans Program and foster care.
"We are bringing a lot of our partnering agencies over here. The Betty Griffin House domestic abuse shelter will have an office here and the idea is that it's on the same complex with all the other governmental services," says Bennett
Sunshine buses already have a route to take people to the new location.
St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar was also there for the ribbon cutting and he says these services are much needed.
"It brings together all the services that our vulnerable citizens need and we haven't had that in a long time and really this building I see this as a building that's going to help people that are suffering in our community," Shoar says.
The new building is already open for people while the former Health Services Building will become a Lowe's.