Ground broken for $11M center
Northampton County broke ground on its first real forensic center Sept. 12. The facility will be located at the Gracedale campus, next to the 911 Center. Currently, Coroner Zach Lysek has no morgue and operates out of a small office at Louise Moore Park.
Executive Lamont McClure credited Northampton County Council for funding the project. “For nearly 30 years, county councils have rhetorically called for building a forensics center, but have never put their money where their mouth was,” he said. He also heaped praise on Fiscal Affairs Director Steve Barron for coming up with a way to finance the facility in a way that reduces debt payments.
The forensic center, which has a budget of $11 million, is slated for completion by August 2020. It includes the following features:
* Family reception and private meeting rooms.
* Two autopsy rooms with a viewing area for law enforcement and medical school students.
* Digital forensic lab.
* Offices for Coroner’s staff.
* Five-bay garage with receiving and storage area.
* Solar panels.
* Capacity for future expansion.
* Secure lockers to preserve chain of custody for evidence and personal effects.