UC plans $11.5 million conversion of coroner’s office

By Tom Demeropolis  – Senior Staff Reporter, Cincinnati Business CourierJan 8, 2021

The University of Cincinnati is planning a more than $11 million renovation of the building that currently houses the Hamilton County Coroner’s office as it moves its operations to a new facility in Blue Ash this year.

UC is in the process of receiving back the currently leased Hamilton County Coroners Building, located at 3159 Eden Ave. in the heart of the UC Medical/east Uptown campus. The university intends to renovate and use the 35,000-square-foot facility as a biomedical sciences research facility and to use the estimated 10- to 15-year life cycle left in its current arrangement as much as possible.

John Seibert, UC’s associate vice president of planning, design and construction, said the coroner’s office has taken care of the building and it still has good research and lab space. The building is expected to become home to a mix of occupants, including the College of Engineering, which would use it for bio-science research.

“It’s timely to have the opportunity to reacquire this space and help grow those programs that will use it for bio-science research of any kind,” Seibert told me.

A feasibility study was performed by BHDP Architecture and Prater Engineering. The main focus of the renovation work will include removing the records keeping and morgue space and converting it to research space. The rest of the work will involve cleaning up the existing infrastructure.

For the time being, the project is being referred to as the UC Bio-Sciences Center. UC sent out a request for qualifications for architect/engineer for the planned project in October. BHDP Architecture, Moody Nolan and Champlin Architecture were shortlisted by the university.

Seibert plans to bring on a construction manager at-risk this spring to help with pre-construction and estimating for the project. Seibert said the hope is now through summer to get the scope and design resolved then go to UC’s board for approval.https://9bf39beb686345ada3cb8c28d6d3df30.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

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The estimated total project cost at this time is $11.5 million, with the construction cost estimated to be $8 million.

Renovation work would then begin in summer 2021 and take place through summer 2022, so the space is available for the fall 2022 academic year.

The Hamilton County Coroner’s office is expected to be fully out of the Uptown building by this summer.