By Robin Shannon • New Orleans City Business • January 2013
Construction is expected to begin early this year on the new home for the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office, as the city received bids for the project just before the end of 2012. The apparent low bid came from Construction Masters of Metairie, which entered an $11.08 million price. The elevated 23,000-square-foot, two-story complex will be situated on a large plot of land on Earhart Boulevard near Claiborne Avenue.
Project Architect George Hero said the complex will consist of two wings, consolidating two entities under one roof. The first wing is for the Coroner’s morgue & will include a toxicology lab and storage space. The second wing will be home to the City’s Emergency Medical Services Department. The rear parking lot will also feature connections for refrigerated trucks for emergency situations. After Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, refrigerated trucks were used to create a makeshift morgue.
The Coroner’s Office & morgue were on the 1st & 2nd floors of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Courthouse and sustained extensive damage from flooding. The Coroner has operated out of numerous temporary locations ever since, including one on Martin Luther King Boulevard that was fire destroyed in 2011.
A $3.3 million Federal Emergency Management Agency hurricane recovery grant awarded in June, along with law enforcement bond funding & community development block grants, will help pay for the new complex. Bids are still under advisement as the City has not released a schedule for construction.