Commissioners Present Courthouse Consolidation Plan

The county plans to close and sell several government offices located in Doylestown and Warminster.

Construction continues on the new Bucks County Justice Center. Photo by James Boyle.
Construction continues on the new Bucks County Justice Center. Photo by James Boyle.
Bucks County Commissioners presented an answer Monday morning to one of the lingering questions surrounding the construction of the Bucks County Justice Center: What will become of the old courthouse?

Commissioner Robert Loughery conducted a PowerPoint presentation during the monthly commissioners meeting that detailed a four-to-five year plan to consolidate satellite government offices into the courthouse's 62,00 square-feet that will become available once the majority of the current occupants transfer to the new building.

“We looked at what we need to do as far as reuse of this building,” said Loughery. “We also want to shrink the county footprint as it exists outside the building.”

The broad plan, which is subject to amendment, includes moving multiple county departments such as Children & Youth, Area Agency on Aging, Human Resources, Controller and Mental Health/Developmental Programs (MH//DP) into the current seven-story Administration Building.

It also includes relocating the Adult Probation and Juvenile Probation offices to the current Domestic Relations Building (30 E. Court St.) and selling several county-owned buildings that house county offices at this time.

According to The Intelligencer, the consolidation will require renovations to the administration building and offices at 30 E. Court St., costing between $7 million and $10 million.

The transition of courtrooms, jury rooms, district attorney offices, judges chambers and more to the $86 million, 165-square-foot Bucks County Justice Center is tentatively scheduled to begin by the end of 2014.

The consolidation proposal splits up the process into three phases, starting in 2015 with the renovation of 30 E. Court St., the sale of county-owned buildings at 89 E. Court St. and 20 E. Court St. and the move of administration offices to the courthouse rotunda.

More renovations are scheduled for Phase 2 in 2016 and Phase 3 in 2017, capped by the sale of Drug and Alcohol/Behavioral Health and Mental Health/Development Programs offices on Louis Drive in Warminster. Satellite government service centers in Quakertown and Bristol Township will remain open.


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