Richland County Coroner Gary Watts is overjoyed at having a much bigger headquarters.
“We’ll really be able to stretch out our arms at this new facility and house all of our materials in one place,” he said in statement Friday.
The new facility has been a long-time goal of Watts, coroner for 16 years.
The 20,000-square-foot quarters at 6300 Shakespeare Road is a converted warehouse that will allow Watts to centralize records previously scattered at other locations. He and aides had shared offices with deputies.
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Extra space is needed to expand evidence storage and allow examinations that couldn’t be done in former cramped quarters, he said. His staff investigates violent and unexpected deaths.
The $2.5 million project also includes new equipment and technology improvements.
Being under one roof means better staff cohesion that results in better service for the public, Watts said.
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483
If you go
Tour the coroner’s new facility at 6300 Shakespeare Road at 5 p.m. July 14 following a ribbon-cutting ceremony.