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Lewis & Clark County considering building new morgue

Posted at 8:24 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 00:16:33-04

HELENA — The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office is looking at building a new morgue for its Coroner’s Division.

Leaders are proposing a building at the Lewis and Clark County Cemetery, off McHugh Lane. On Thursday morning, the Lewis and Clark County Commission will consider a contract of just under $12,500 with Stahly Engineering and Associates, to provide surveying and engineering services at the site.

LCSO Capt. Brent Colbert said the coroner’s office – a division of the sheriff’s office since 2019 – has never had a dedicated morgue space. Currently, he said the department holds the deceased in rented space at St. Peter’s Health. He said that space isn’t enough anymore.

“It’s very small, and between the coroner’s office and the hospital, we keep it full quite a bit,” he said. “So it would just alleviate a lot of the overcrowding that we have at that spot.”

Colbert said the hospital and the coroner’s division’s shared space is enough to hold three bodies. He expects a new morgue would hold an additional six.

The planned building would be about 30 feet by 30 feet. Colbert said it would be built similarly to a large garage. He said leaders hope to begin construction later this year, and that they expect the building to be completed relatively quickly.