Rarely, if ever, do people want to go to the morgue — but on Tuesday they’ll have that opportunity.
Floyd County Coroner Gene Proctor will host a grand opening of the new Floyd County Morgue on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until noon.
Having an independent morgue facility has been a priority for Proctor since he assumed the coroner duties from Barry Henderson last year. The new facility, located in the old Floyd County Animal Control headquarters at 431 Mathis Road has actually been in use for a couple of months.
Proctor said he's had as many as nine bodies at one time in the morgue already.
With no money in the actual county budget for the project, Proctor was able to utilize some of the funds in the budget for his office, coupled with donations of equipment and furniture from the Floyd County schools and several local businesses to furnish the building.
In addition to his own office, the building has three offices for his deputy coroners. Much of the furniture were donations from the Coosa Valley Credit Union or from hand me downs out of the Floyd County Judicial Center.
"I took the old furniture and it works just great for me," Proctor said.
Proctor is most proud of what he calls a viewing room. Families of deceased can be brought into a waiting room with a large window and curtains where a body can be wheeled for the family to identify or simply see without any danger of cross-contamination.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has gotten very serious about preventing any kind of evidence contamination.
"That's understandable," Proctor said. "That means that a lot of times we couldn't let loved ones view their family member. We've already used it several times."
The east side of the building, where the viewing room and storage coolers are located is served by a heating and air-conditioning system that is separated from the rest of the building.
Everything in the actual work room is stainless steel, most of it donated to the new morgue by the Floyd County schools from the old Midway Elementary School kitchen.
The body storage room features two coolers, one capable of handling six bodies, the other can handle 12. The smaller cooler was purchased last year but has been in storage until the county had a place to put it. The larger cooler came from the kitchen at Midway and has been modified to meet the coroner’s needs.
Proctor said some people felt like the old Animal Control building wasn't fit to renovate for a morgue. He had a friend from Atlanta appraise the new morgue and the figure came back at approximately $1.25 million.
"I have spent almost $130,000," Proctor said.