A new, $32 million dollar state health lab has been dedicated in Jefferson City. It is a high-tech, upgraded facility will serve both the state and the nation.
Plans for a new lab began in 1998, five years after the old lab was under water in the great flood of 1993. Former Senator Betty Sims (R-St. Louis) says Missouri needed a new facility, not just to respond to the public health needs of Missouri, but to be ready in case of a national public health crisis. The new lab is part of a national laboratory network which would be ready to respond to a national public health crisis, including a bio-terrorism attack.
The lab provides a wide range of diagnostic and analytical services. Scientists and lab technicians moved in at the end of July. State Lab Director, Eric Banks, says the lab has been everything he thought it would be. The new lab is located just outside the walls of the old prison in Jefferson City, east of the Capitol.