BUCKS COUNTY

New justice center set for 2014

DOYLESTOWN The new Bucks County Justice Center - an $86 million, eight-story facility and the county's most expensive construction project ever - is set to open around the end of 2014, Commissioners Chairman Rob Loughery said Monday.

Loughery and his commissioner peers gave a tour to media members to display progress on the site, which has been under construction since June 2011.

Delays at the beginning of construction helped push back the opening date, Loughery said. It was initially estimated that the facility would open in this summer.

Still, change orders on the project have totaled only about 1 percent of the project cost, he said, and the county estimates that the project is about 60 percent completed.

"The inside is really starting to take shape," Loughery said.

When finished, the 285,000 square-foot facility will have 16 courtrooms (with the capability to add three, officials say), two floors below ground and six above ground, and, according to the commissioners, improvements in technology and security over the current courthouse. - Chris Palmer