Township officials celebrate forensic center groundbreaking

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Franklin Township is celebrating the future opening of the new county morgue. At a recent meeting, the board discussed how excited they are for the opening of this facility.

The groundbreaking for the new Forensic Science Center took place in early September and construction will be complete in 2020, according to Kris Long, Franklin County Board of Commissioners deputy county administrator.

Located at 2090 Frank Road, the new center will be located on 10 acres and will cost approximately $37 million.

“This is a great new development on Frank Road and it is phenomenal to have this on the Westside,” said Aryeh Alex, township trustee. “This could result in further business in the area as well because the employees here will need places to eat. This can only benefit the entire region.”

The Forensic Science Center will be about 57,000 square feet and will include open green space, an education center, conference spaces, investigation suites, a research lab and the morgue.

The county coroner’s office investigates all unattended deaths in Franklin County, as well as those caused by violence, criminal means and suicide. Each year, the office investigates roughly 4,000 deaths and performs about 1,500 autopsies.

“Our new Forensic Science Center will enable the coroner’s office to provide better, more streamlined and more community oriented services to our residents,” said Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz. “Our county will benefit greatly from the Forensic Science Center.”

In other township news, the trustees discussed their plans to partner with a local high school to support the professional development of students. Among these initiatives includes giving students at Franklin Heights High School the opportunity to create a new logo for the township.

“The tagline will be Franklin Township, past, present, future,” said John Fleshman, township trustee. “We are thinking we will put a group of students together and they will come up with four logos. They then can present the different logos to us and we will pick one.”

According to Fleshman, the school is thrilled to partner with the township on this project, as well as future projects. Among these future projects also could include students working with the road department during peak periods, particularly in the summer.

“Next year, we hope to use Franklin Heights students instead of others from outside the township,” said Jim Stevens, road superintendent. “I will be meeting with the principal and finding a couple local kids.”

This summer, the township employed four to five seasonal part-time workers to help with trash pickup, grass cutting and other duties the road department must take care of. In the future they hope to continue to hire seasonal part-time help.

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