June 30, 2010
“A Symbol of Commitment”
Commissioners Join President Judge to Cut Ribbon on 1,200-Space Judicial Center Parking Garage in Doylestown Borough
Phase One of the Bucks County Judicial Center construction project reached a sun-splashed conclusion this morning as Commissioner Chairman Charles H. Martin and Commissioner James F. Cawley, Esq. joined President Judge Susan D. Scott, Doylestown Borough officials and project contractors to cut the ribbon on the new Judicial Center Parking Garage. The 1,200-space, four-level facility is located between Union and Doyle streets, adjacent to Broad St. The $22-million garage required 18 months to complete, with the project coming in “on time, under budget, and with less than one-percent change orders,” in the words of Chairman Martin.
Following the ribbon cutting, Commissioner Cawley took the wheel of a red 1970’s-era Cadillac Eldorado convertible and drove Chairman Martin, Judges Scott and Robert J. Mellon and Doylestown Borough Council President Det Ansinn through the Union St. ticket-gate turnstile.
While welcoming a large crowd to the ceremony, Chairman Martin thanked the project architect, Tim Haahs, and the general contractor, Lobar, praising all of the vendors who provided respective government bid services to erect the structure. He recalled the parking garage groundbreaking ceremony, which took place on Dec. 22, 2008 in bitter temperatures that ranged from 14-18 degrees. “On that day, there was a small crowd, and short speeches,” Chairman Martin recalled. “Eighteen months later, here we are.”
During his brief remarks, Commissioner Cawley spoke of a recent visit to Harrisburg and the State Capitol building. There he noticed a remark from then-President Theodore Roosevelt lauding the structure as “the handsomest state capitol in all the country.” Looking around the top deck of the new parking garage, he added: “I think we can stand here today and safely call this the handsomest parking garage throughout the state, and perhaps the nation.”
Collaboration with the Borough of Doylestown and neighbors was a theme laced throughout the ribbon-cutting. Chairman Martin noted that the project had its genesis back in 2001. Commissioner Cawley labeled the garage as a “symbol of commitment,” one that stresses the county government’s responsibility to be a good steward of its facilities. “There are more challenges ahead,” Cawley added, “but we can hold our heads high as to how we have conducted ourselves (during Phase One).”
Ansinn followed his remarks by presenting a Certificate of Occupancy for the garage to Chairman Martin. “I, like everyone here, am proud of this building,” Ansinn stated. “Jerry (county General Services director Anderson) has worked well with our (borough) staff. This is a reflection of that collaboration. It is a starting point for the big project (the new Judicial Center). I’m confident we’re off to a good start.”
President Judge Scott praised the work that has been done throughout the parking garage phase, but expressed great anticipation about the new Judicial Center. “It seems odd to say, but this is a very impressive parking garage,” Judge Scott commented. “I have heard comments that it is not in your face, and it is sited nicely. This is the end of Phase One, and the start of Phase Two. As excited as I am about the garage, it pales in comparison to the people of Bucks County getting a new Judicial Center.”
Although parking is free, employees and members of the public will have to a take a parking ticket upon entering the garage from any of the three entry pavilions. A fact sheet detailing the features of the garage is available on the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org. An audio account of the ribbon-cutting ceremony is also available on the website.
According to Anderson, more than 500 tons of dirt was removed from the garage site in order to complete the bottom level – which is 32 feet below Union St. level. He highlighted several features of the project, including the standing sheet metal roofs – which offer durability – and the lighting fixtures, which may qualify for a PECO energy credit.
“It’s a lovely structure,” Chairman Martin added. One that will serve the County of Bucks and the Borough of Doylestown for decades to come.
Additional Pictures (Click to view larger images)