Southeastern PA

Bucks Commssioners approve more changes to new Justice Center

LANGHORNE, Pa. - At their monthly meeting Wednesday morning offsite at the Today, Inc. rehab complex in Langhorne, the Bucks County Commissioners voted 2-1 to approve  an additional $155, 673 to complete the new "Justice Center" courthouse just off of Main Street in Doylestown. 

The near $90 million building project located almost directly across the street from the current Bucks County courthouse on Main, State, and Court Streets in the borough will be eight stories high and contain approximately 285,000 square feet of county government office and courtroom space.

Bucks officials broke ground on the new "Justice Center" back in the summer of 2011 and expected opening in the fall of 2013.

However, due to last winter's weather and unforeseen construction delays, according to Commissioner Charles Martin, the entire project is currently slated for completion in January 2015.

To date, the project has had multiple construction changes, and the commissioners' Wednesday vote approved paying an additional  $156,000  for such things as masonry modifications, new tile applications, balcony adjustments due to roof redesigns, and repairs to the building's tube steel at its spire location.

Philadelphia general contractor Ernest Bock and Sons will be paid the additional funds.

Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia voted against spending more money on the project.

Martin said the additional expenditures for construction changes are due to mistakes and oversights made by the Dallas, Texas architectural firm of Hellmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum (HOK). He noted, "In one case here they forgot to put in the door handles on the sixth floor doors."

He added the county would be looking for reimbursement from the architectural firm for errors following the project's  completion.

As a result, Commissioner Robert Loughery tabled to a future meeting the approval of a contract increase of nearly $27,000 to HOK for construction administration services at the Justice Center through April of this year.

For their work on the new courthouse, contractor Bock now is expected to be paid nearly $60 million for its services with architect HOK earning $7million.

Martin said at present the project has "no major construction delays, work stoppages, and is very within budget."

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