HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The Horry County Coroner’s Office is slated for a new cooler that will double storage capacity at the facility.

The coroner’s office currently shares space with the county’s communications department in a building deep in the public safety complex. Robert Edge, Horry County coroner since 1989, said the communications department will move from that space within the next six months, opening the door for more space in an already tight coroner’s office.

Edge said the new cooler will go in the space currently occupied by the communications department. There will be room for 32 bodies at once.

“I’ll be really excited, and not necessarily for me, but it’ll make the whole operation move smoother, and we’ll be able to control more things such as the bodies we have in the coolers and not having to ask for outside help and things like that,” Edge said.

Edge said the current office is “busting at the seams” in the midst of a record year so far in call volume. Edge said his office has responded to more than 1,900 calls so far this year.

He added the cooler is consistently 85% full.

“That will take a lot of the pressure off of us,” Edge said.

Edge said the cooler will cost roughly $50,000 including installation and will be for bodies being stored long term.

“Unfortunately, when we have people that are unclaimed, we cannot keep them here forever, so we make arrangements with the funeral home, and we try to rotate it all around,” Edge said.

Edge said the cooler will cut some of those transportation costs.

He said costs can be cut down even further with a new facility that he’s been pushing for with more office space for personnel.

“Hopefully very soon all that will kind of come in to one play, and we’ll be moving on,” Edge said.

Edge said the county is moving on plans for a new facility, but there aren’t any concrete details regarding a new facility and its features.

Edge said the county needs to account for growth decades from now to be proactive when designing any new facility.

“I’m hoping that we can plan this building to be prepared for the future and not today,” Edge said.