CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco has been pushing for a new crime lab for five years.
The first steps in that direction took place Tuesday when Hamilton County officials broke ground on the construction of a new building on Carver Woods Drive in Blue Ash.
The current crime lab in Corryville was built in 1974.
"This is a big 'thank you' to the people of Hamilton County," said Sammarco. "For supporting us, for sticking with us, this is for you. I mean, what we do is for you. What we do is try and keep every single citizen here safe."
According to the coroner's office, the state-of-the-art facility comes with $55 million in construction costs and a $1.6 million price tag for the land.
"The coroner's office is a linchpin of the entire justice system," said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. "(Dr. Sammarco) does all our forensics, all our blood work, everything -- and they've been working out of closets and hallways for the last five years."
Sammarco said if she had anything to do with it, construction on the new facility would be completed and her new lab would be up and ready by December 2019.