Crime lab idea not D.O.A.; Memorial Hall benefactors revealed

Feb 11, 2015

Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel isn't ready to give up on the idea of turning part of the former Mercy Mt. Airy hospital into a new crime lab.

Last week, commission president Greg Hartmann said a vote was likely soon and indicated it didn't look promising.

Monzel says he's trying to find a public/private partnership to make it happen.

"In my mind, we have not nearly exhausted the idea of a public/private partnership for developing that site," says Monzel. "And I'm certainly not ready to dismiss the site as a solution to our crime lab as well as other facility issues. I'm continuing my efforts to investigate a public/private partnership at the site."

He also says he contact Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco Wednesday "to let her know that I'm not giving up on either this site, or some solution- be it there or be it somewhere else in the county- we do need to make sure we upgrade our coroner's facility as well as the crime lab."

Estimates for building a lab at Mt. Airy range from $20 to $40 million.

Work is expected to start this spring on Memorial Hall.

Memorial Hall announced gift

The pieces keep falling into place for Memorial Hall supporters.

Cincinnati Memorial Hall Society president Bill Baumann Wednesday revealed the Annie W. & Elizabeth M. Anderson Foundation is pledging $1 million toward the building's renovation.

The donation had been factored into the $7.8 million rehab plan, but until now the donor had been a secret.

The Anderson sisters had a connection to the building. A plaque honoring their great-uncle, and Civil War veteran, Nicholas Longworth Anderson, has been hanging in the main hall for more than 100 years.

Last week, Hamilton County Commissioners agreed to move forward with a public/private partnership deal to renovate the performance hall in Over-the-Rhine. That includes a $1.5 million contribution from the county.