The city's new medical examiner's office, now under construction off Golfair Boulevard and North Davis Street. | Dan Scanlan, Jacksonville Today

#AskJAXTDY l Will Jacksonville’s new morgue have a crematorium?

Published on July 5, 2024 at 12:15 am

Q: Jacksonville Today reader Seber N. has a question about whether a certain service will be offered in the city’s new medical examiner’s office, now under construction off Golfair Boulevard and North Davis Street.

And it deals with whether the new facility will hew to the Biblical saying “ashes to ashes.”

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“Do you know if the new city morgue on Golfair Boulevard will have a crematory in it?” he asks.

“Do you know if the new city morgue on Golfair Boulevard will have a crematory?”

A: The simple answer is no.

The city broke ground 14 months ago on the new medical examiner’s office, which will replace a current facility on North Jefferson Street that can handle a maximum of 45 bodies and has been at capacity several times in recent months, city documents show. It has also dealt with an average of 2,000 autopsies a year, with predictions of increasing numbers due to opioid overdoses, city officials said at a the groundbreaking for the new facility in May of 2023.

Cremation is the process that turns human remains into bone fragments, according to Jacksonville’s Evergreen Cemetery. The process also pulverizes and processes bone fragments into “a powdery consistency which people commonly refer to as ashes,” Evergreen’s website says. The historic cemetery is one of many facilities in the city that offer cremation, with a crematorium on site at its North Main Street facility.

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As for Seber’s question, city spokesperson Melissa Ross says the new facility will only handle medical examination of remains requested by families or law enforcement agencies.

“The disposition of remains are handled through the funeral home selected by the family or the funeral home contracted by a county’s indigent burial program,” Ross said in an email.

The new medical examiner’s office has been in the news recently after members of the Metro Gardens Neighborhood Association filed suit against the city to try to stop its construction. The 18 residents are also seeking damages in the suit filed in mid-June of this year.

The partially built two-story medical examiner’s office is visible from nearby Interstate 95, as well as from the nearby K-8 KIPP JAX Voice Academy charter school and from homes on Davis Street and Castlewood Drive West.

City officials did not respond to Jacksonville Today‘s request for comment about the suit.

author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 email Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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