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Virginia's western forensics lab begins expansion

Friday - 2/28/2014, 9:01am  ET

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) -- Construction is under way on a state facility in Roanoke County that will expand the space available to the region's forensic scientists and medical examiners.

The $40 million project will add to and renovate the Virginia Department of Forensic Science's Western Laboratory, as well as the Western District Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Officials say the project is a welcome relief to the roughly 76 people who work at the facility, investigating crimes and deaths in cramped labs and facilities approaching two decades old.

The Roanoke Times reports (http://bit.ly/OJeOSN ) that the building is one of the busiest in the state and covers the largest geographic area.

Forensic scientists there last year worked on nearly 14,700 cases, while medical examiner's office officials performed more than 1,300 in-house autopsies or exams.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com


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