Morgue temporarily moves to Brown County Highway Department site

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Early design plans for a new $12 million Medical Examiner's building in Brown County will go before the committee members at the beginning of May.

The Howard location once known as the Brown County Highway Department is now called the Duck Creek Center and houses other county departments including the morgue.

"We built a shed just to bridge a few years to get us to a new facility," said Paul Fontecchio, director of Brown County Public Works.

The medical examiner's office will move from its current Walnut Street location in downtown Green Bay to a new building on Curry Lane behind the Brown County Jail as part of an ongoing capital project.

"We're basically just providing some advice to the county about what their building would need to look like to facilitate the workload that they have and for some expansion and growth in their county," said Barry Irmen, Director of Operations for the Dane County Medical Examiner's Office.

"On May 1, we're going to be bringing our schematic design, which is we've gone through enough of the details to know how the pieces are going to fit together," said Fontecchio. "The ballpark -- the more detailed scope and size and cost of this thing."

The Duck Creek Center has not been the only temporary home for the morgue through this process. According to minutes from a Brown County Public Safety Meeting in September, 2017, the county used HSHS St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay. That raised questions about security with some county supervisors concerned about too much access for unauthorized individuals.

"One of the reasons that this location was chosen was that we have a secure facility here. Our facility is all fenced in with chain link fence. It's very secure. It's a government facility," said Fontecchio.

He hopes to see crews break ground on the new building by April, 2020.

The medical examiner's office is one of two capital projects following the same timeline. A jail expansion project will add two pods to the existing facility.

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