Richland County Councilmembers, magistrate judges, elected officials and Sheriff’s deputies were joined by members of the community to celebrate the official dedication of the Decker Center.
Located at 2500 Decker Boulevard, in the heart of Richland County’s International Corridor, the Decker Center is Richland County’s newest facility. The 110,000-square-foot building was formerly a shuttered shopping center and was transformed into a spacious, modern facility that houses Central Magistrate Court, a Sheriff’s Department annex and a community room for public events.
“We are excited to dedicate the Decker Center to serve the residents of Richland County,” said Richland County Council Chair Joyce Dickerson, District 2, during the dedication ceremony. “While the Decker Center has been open for several months, it’s appropriate we all come together to give thanks for this new facility.”
The Decker Center has seen more than one hundred visitors a day since it opened in late 2016. In addition to nine courtrooms, including a large space for traffic court, the building features new technology systems to streamline processes and provide better customer service. It was also designed with several eco-friendly sustainability features helping to minimize its impact on the environment.
“I want to thank County Council for their foresight and for their vision, for seeing the needs of Richland County and providing for those needs,” said Chief Magistrate Judge Donald Simons. “This facility is something the County truly needed.”
Several community leaders from various organizations took part in today’s ceremony to welcome the Decker Center and its staff to the neighborhood.
Prior to the dedication ceremony, Councilmembers and Judge Simons took part in a special portrait unveiling commemorating former Chief Magistrate Judge Walter S. Jones Sr. The Central Court building on Huger Street was named after Judge Jones to remember his career in public service and his goal to establish a centralized court facility.
“It is fitting that this building, which exists for the purpose of serving the residents of Richland County, remembers a man who was committed to public service,” said Richland County Councilman Jim Manning, representative for District 8, where the Decker Center is located.
Members of the Jones family unveiled a portrait of Judge Jones that will be displayed outside of a courtroom at the Decker Center.
After the ceremonies, County officials and community members took part in a reception featuring international cuisine from several restaurants located along Decker Boulevard. The Cavalier String Ensemble, a student band from Richland Northeast High School led by orchestra director Irena Zeeff, provided music.