March 22, 2012
Commissioners Receive Update on Justice Center Construction Timeline
As the first installation of what will be “somewhat quarterly updates,” according to Bucks County Commissioner Chairman Robert G. Loughery, county General Services Director Jerry Anderson reported that the new target date for completion of the Bucks County Justice Center is February 21, 2014. The update took place during the March 21 meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners.
At this juncture in the project, work is taking place 34 feet down from (Main) street level in excavation for the building’s foundation. According to Mr. Anderson, “It was hard to determine conditions because there was an existing four-level parking garage on top of the site.”
The initial notice to proceed on the Justice Center was issued on April 13, 2011. Due to easement problems that had to be resolved with the site, that date was moved back to June 28, 2011. Another 10 weeks were compromised by conditions at the former Armory, which will have its façade preserved as part of the Justice Center’s Shewell Ave. wall. “We’re trying to save a building that was built in 1908, as we were asked by the (Doylestown) Historic Commission.”
Mr. Anderson detailed the care that has been taken to preserve two walls of the brick Armory, noting: “Picture a cardboard box and take two sides off the box and envision what would happen. We had to move very slowly and secure the underpinnings.”
He told the commissioners that work currently is proceeding at a “very good pace,” adding, “We will do everything we can to pick up time.”
Another interesting aspect of the Armory preservation is that a “significant” second-floor fireplace featuring several Mercer tiles is being preserved for use in the new Justice Center. “We have taken great pains to do that,” Mr. Anderson stated.
The next phases of the construction will include “H” columns and walls starting to go up. During April, a crane will begin the process of placing structural steel. For updates on the construction, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org.