Philadelphia family court plan advances

Philadelphia is going to get a new family court building.

Bids for the new courthouse at 15th and Arch streets came in at $140 million, far less than the $200 million that was set aside for the building. Former Gov. Ed Rendell said he isn’t surprised.

“It’s great that the bids came in under budget but we sort of had a hunch that would happen,” said Rendell. “There’s not a lot of construction other than the capital programs of the state there’s not a lot of construction going on right now.”

The project can go forward now that new Gov. Tom Corbett has said he won’t stand in its way.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille said the building is urgently needed and will consolidate services in the City Hall area.

“Most of the attorneys practice downtown and there’s the social welfare groups that support women and children,” he said.

The future of the old Family Court Building on the Parkway is uncertain. There has been talk of transforming the historic building into a hotel or even a museum.

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