Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco is looking forward to getting work underway on the new crime lab.
County commissioners are scheduled Thursday to approve hiring Monarch Construction to build the three-story facility in Blue Ash near Summit Park.
"Let me tell you how excited we are to actually have windows and natural light that we can do forensic science with; some space to actually put the equipment and have updated equipment so that we're finally going to be an efficient, state-of-the-art crime lab for this entire region," Sammarco says.
Monarch's bid came in under budget so the board is able to add several features back into the project, including three autopsy tables. Construction project manager David Parker explains it will cost less to put the tables in now rather than sometime in the future. The tables are custom made and require special plumbing under the flooring.
Sammarco says it was a tough decision to remove the tables and she's glad they'll be added back in.
"It was several weeks and months going over all the details to come up with something that we thought, 'Okay, if we really, really, really can't do this, maybe we can put these things off,' " she told commissioners Tuesday. "But we really feel like they're integral to the operation of the building in the near future and I think it would just be cost prohibitive for future installation whereas now would be reasonable."
The total cost is just over $37 million. The county issued bonds last year to fund the new facility.