Missouri is building a state-of-the-art multi-agency state laboratory in Jefferson City. The $151 million project is expected to break ground this month.

Headed by Gov. Mike Parson, the planned campus will be home to several state agencies to provide a singular approach to human, animal, environmental, and criminal testing in Missouri. The new approach will enable the different government agencies to share information, expertise, equipment, supplies, and support services.

This will include the Forensic Crime Laboratory, which will provide forensic evidence testing. It will also provide crime and criminal activity verification for the state and over 600 local law enforcement agencies.

The state Department of Health and Senior Services will be providing investigative and testing services related to public health and disease, according to director Paula Nickelson.

“The opportunity for forensics as well as scientists who concentrate on environment, animals, and humans to come together is very unique,” she said. “We will be one of only three or four in the nation. We will be the only one in the Midwest that has that capacity all under one roof.”

“We are going to build state of the art facilities in this state,” Gov. Parson said. “We’re going to build the best of the best right here in Missouri. We’re going to build a lab that is second to none in the United States.”

Missouri’s Agriculture Director, Chris Chinn, said the future 250,000-square-foot lab is key to the state’s livestock industries.

“Missouri is a powerhouse in livestock production,” she explained. “We’re the number three cow state in the United States, but we’re also top ten when it comes to pigs, goats, poultry, horses, the list just goes on. This laboratory is very crucial to make sure that Missouri’s farmers and ranchers can continue to produce a safe and abundant food supply.”

Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director Dru Buntin said his department provides investigative and laboratory testing for environmental health and disease.

“This new lab will strengthen and expand our services in four key areas – air, water quality monitoring, chemical analysis, and environmental emergency response.” he said.

About $183 million in federal pandemic funds have been designated for the new campus and for work to the existing State Public Health Lab.

The multi-story project is expected to finish in October of 2026.

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