JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — City leaders in Jacksonville broke ground on a new medical examiner’s office on Monday morning.
The new facility is located on North Davis Street, and it will be able to support growth in the coming years.
The current office located on North Jefferson Street was built in 1968.
On Monday, Dr. Charles Moreland with the mayor’s office noted with the increase in opioid overdoses and the COVID-19 pandemic, the city noticed a need for a new building.
“This new facility will tackle the long-standing issues of delays and backups and medical examinations and autopsies in our community,” Moreland said.
In March, the city council introduced legislation to spend over $62 million on the facility. The current office is about 27,000 square feet and can hold about 100 bodies.
“We’ve totally outgrown our office,” chief medical examiner Dr. Robert Pietak said.
The new two-story facility will be about 51,000 square feet.
“This facility can accommodate situations to which there would be a rather rapid increase in decedents, so we can quickly expand to 300 decedents if we have to,” said Tim Crutchfield, the medical examiner’s office director of operations.
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Crutchfield explained why they chose this location over any other site.
“It just boiled down to the taxpayer,” Crutchfield said. “The city actually owns this property, so there was really no reason to go find another property when this one will actually accommodate our needs.”
The new office is expected to be completed in the winter of 2025.