Virginia firm to continue planning movement of county offices

DOYLESTOWN The Bucks County commissioners approved a contract Wednesday worth nearly $700,000 for a Virginia firm to continue planning the fate of some county-owned buildings that will be affected by the opening of the $86 million justice center.

Several administrative offices and courtrooms currently housed in different buildings along Court Street - including Family Court, across from the main courthouse - will move into the justice center, which is scheduled to open this year.

Dewberry Architects Inc. of Fairfax, Va., which had previously been hired to design initial plans for those areas to be vacated, was given the contract Wednesday to continue finalizing how those spaces will be used when the move is complete, Commissioner Rob Loughery said at a public meeting.

The eight-story justice center is the most expensive public undertaking in county history. Change orders on the project have added between 1 percent and 2 percent to the original cost, according to county spokesman Chris Edwards. - Chris Palmer