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Strickler farmhouse nixed as future York County Coroner's Office

David Weissman
York Dispatch

Plans to turn the nearly 300-year-old Strickler farmhouse into the York County Coroner's Office have been abandoned after county officials determined renovations would be too expensive.

The county has owned the Springettsbury Township farmhouse since 1943, but it has sat vacant for several years after last being occupied by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

York County is looking to see if the Strickler farmhouse, partially built in 1742 and now part of the York County  Prison property, can be economically rehabbed. Friday, June 24, 2016.
John A. Pavoncello photo

The county paid York City-based engineering firm Murphy and Dittenhafer $2,500 in 2016 to study the building for potential future uses.

More:Strickler farmhouse to potentially be coroner's office

Soon after the firm's study, county commissioners voted to solicit bids to renovate the building — built in three segments during 1742, 1835 and 1865 — with the intent to turn it into the new county coroner's office.

Coroner Pam Gay said her department has outgrown its current space in the York County Annex on Pleasant Acres Road.

Bruce Johnson with Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects inspects the Strickler farmhouse, built in 1742 and now part of the York County Prison property, Friday, June 24, 2016.
John A. Pavoncello photo

 

President Commissioner Susan Byrnes told The York Dispatch that those plans have since been nixed after the county's director of facilities pointed out several issues — including poor parking, stormwater management and the farmhouse's close proximity to York County Prison — that would've cost too much to fix.

The county had taken out a $7.6 million bond in late 2016 that includes $250,000 for renovations to the Strickler farmhouse, but that money has instead been reassigned to York County 911, according to county spokesman Mark Walters.

More:York County approves borrowing up to $32 million

Gay said she understands the county's decision but acknowledged it's disappointing because her office still has major space issues and "it's just going to get worse."

Byrnes said the county is currently discussing a proposal for a new building on the county-owned property surrounding Pleasant Acres that could house the coroner's office and York County Conservation District.

A comedic note left on a bathroom door from when the Strickler House, built in 1740 and now part of the York County Prison Prison property, served as the ICE office, Friday, June 24, 2016.
John A. Pavoncello photo

 

Whether or not the county pursues that option will depend on projected costs and whether there is state funding available, Byrnes said.

As for the Strickler farmhouse, she said the county still doesn't know what to do with it.

The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.