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Bensalem to open $15 million gym

Three basketball courts and a synthetic track will be used for school and community events.

The tipoff for Bensalem's $15-million field house is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, three years after bids were sought for the gym at Bensalem High School.

Four high school basketball games are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, but the official dedication and ribbon cutting for the Bensalem Community Physical Education Facility are set for noon Saturday. Three alumni basketball games will follow the ceremonies.

The gym has three hardwood basketball courts, including one with seating for 1,700 spectators. It also has a synthetic track with an elevator for handicapped access, locker rooms, a trainer's room, an officials' room and bathrooms.

It will be used for both school and community events. The township contributed $4 million, including a $2-million state grant, to help pay for the facility at 4319 Hulmeville Road.

The school district paid $11 million from a bond issue floated in 2007. Bids were opened in April 2009, but construction did not start until Spring 2010 because of delays for permits, district Business Director Jack Myers said.

The cost originally was projected at $18 million to $20 million, but it dropped because of the economy, Myers said.

Alumni interested in playing in the games for women, seasoned men, and recent graduates must have played one varsity season and received a varsity letter. For more information, go to the Bensalem alumni website,