MIAMI, Fla. – Miami-Dade County Commission Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson, along with Mayor Carlos Gimenez and other officials, hosted the grand reopening ceremony of the Joseph Caleb Center on May 8 to celebrate the completion of the $30 million renovation project, which provided needed improvements to the neighborhood center at 5400 NW 22nd Ave.

Hundreds of residents, including members of the Caleb family and local elected officials, turned out for the official ribbon cutting of the newly refurbished facility, which originally opened in 1977 and houses a number of County department offices and courtrooms, as well as Edmonson’s district office.

Renovations and improvements include all-new energy-efficient roofs and lighting, a new garage facility with increased capacity for public parking, two renovated courtrooms and a hearing room for County civil, criminal and traffic hearings, and new offices for clerk of courts and state attorney services including the processing of civil claims, misdemeanor and felony fine payments, traffic and parking violations payments, and marriage licenses and ceremonies.

“This facility would not be here if not for the vision of the community; this is what the community asked for and this is what the community got,” Edmonson said.

“I’m just proud to have been a part of getting it back on its feet, because it was over 40 years old and was beginning to get run down, and now you have a beautiful renovated building.”

During the ceremony, Edmonson presented a plaque to the family of Joseph Caleb, the 1960s Miami labor leader for whom the center was named.

The event also featured the unveiling of the newly restored bust of Gwendolyn “Gwen” Sawyer Cherry, the first AfricanAmerican woman to serve as a state legislator in Florida.

The bust will remain on permanent display in the center’s new atrium.