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The York County Coroner's Office is another step closer to having its own new office space at York County Prison.

The county's board of commissioners approved two contracts Wednesday totaling about $637,000 for construction and electrical work to build an office space in a vacant area of the prison.

"We are, as a county, really excited to move forward with this for the coroner," said Commissioner Susan Byrnes.

Building the office area is the project's first phase. Electrical work will be done by I.B. Abel of Manchester Township for $95,716 and construction work will be done by Lobar Associates of Dillsburg for $541,387.

Both contracts are effective through Feb. 28.

In phase two of the project, the county plans to build a morgue at the prison.

The coroner's office is one of several agencies housed in the Pleasant Acres annex building, which the county sold, along with Pleasant Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, in 2018.

York County Coroner Pam Gay has been vocal for years about the need for the county to have its own morgue, but she's also commented on the need for a better administrative office.

She's said in the past that the office at the annex is cramped, and there haven't been any major renovations since the coroner's office moved there about 20 years ago.

"Our part-timers come in and there’s not a whole lot of places where they can work," she said last month. "We have volunteers, (and) we have to send them to our little conference area, which is also storage."

The coroner's staff should be able to move into the new space early next year.

More: Coroner's office could move to York County Prison by early 2020

More: York County considers $2.2M plan to build new morgue at prison

More: York County eyes prison for new morgue

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