County plans to expand Levittown Government Services Center

Lower Bucks County Government Service Center in Bristol Township. File photo.

An expansion may come to the Lower Bucks County Government Services Center in the Levittown section of Bristol Township.

County officials are exploring several options for the county government annex used by various departments — ranging from sheriff’s deputies to the health department — near the Levittown branch of the Bucks County Free Library and the courthouse of District Judge Terry Hughes.

The Bucks County government recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) soliciting proposals from architects for designs and land development proposals for a new or expanded addition to the site off New Falls Road.

James O’Malley, a county spokesman, said the process was still in its early stages and details were being worked out. The county has not committed to any development or plan.

Bucks County commissioners could vote later this month on hiring an architect to develop a proposal.

The current Lower Bucks County Government Services Center building has been in place for 30 years and is smaller than the needs of the county. Many departments work outside the building and space may be tight.

“It’s a small building that has lost its purpose,” O’Malley said.

A voter dropping a ballot at the center in 2021.
Credit: Tom Sofield/LevittownNow.com

There has been talk of expanding the facility or building a new addition over the past 15 years.

O’Malley said federal COVID-19 recovery funds could be used for potential development, but it was too early to make any decisions.

“As this project moves forward, assuming it does, we’ll keep the public updated,” O’Malley said.

The site which is largely forested is home to Levittown Fire Company No. 2, the Bucks County Homeless Emergency Shelter, a county communications tower, a field office for district attorney detectives district and a large warehouse of the district attorney’s office used to store equipment and seized. Vehicles. The site connects to the County Park property which extends from Bristol Township and Middletown Township to Falls Township.

The District Attorney’s warehouse on the site.
Credit: Google Maps

Bucks County purchased the 135-acre land that was previously Morton Thiokol’s 20mm rocket motor and ammunition manufacturing site. The county paid $1 for the site, but had to pay for the demolition and conversion of some facilities and also to clean up contamination from numerous hazardous materials on the site and in its soil.

Part of the property was used to build Bucks County Technical High School and the county then had to purchase 8.2 acres for $400,000 from a mortgage company to avoid development on the land, according to a copy of the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1994.

The Levittown Library. File photo.

The Bristol Township Planning Commission told county officials in 1990 that they wanted officials to have a larger, more comprehensive plan for the tract. At the time, it was noted that the approximately 5,000 square foot building that exists today would have to rotate departments inside and out to accommodate staff and residents.

In 1962, one man was killed and five others injured at the Morton Thiokol site when an unused pipe exploded at the site. The blast was reported by the Levittown Times as rocking homes in the lower county. The explosion severely damaged an unused section of an ordinance shed.

Credit: Levittown Times/Newspapers.com

Over the past 15 years, the county has undertaken several major construction projects, including the construction of the Justice Center in the Township of Doylestown, the conversion of the old courthouse to the Bucks County Administration Building, the reduction of the number of leased offices across the county into county-owned buildings and the sale of unused buildings.

When the current majority of commissioners took office in 2020, their transition report called for an assessment of county real estate and facilities.

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Ashley C. Reynolds