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Work to begin on $250 million state laboratories facility in South Charleston

By Rick Steelhammer, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A 200,000-square-foot, $250 million West Virginia State Laboratories building will soon begin taking shape on a 14-acre site at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston.

A dedication ceremony was held at the construction site Tuesday.

The new structure will bring seven laboratories of five agencies scattered across the state under one roof, in a spacious building with state-of-the-art research equipment.

The consolidated laboratory building will provide space for:

  • The Department of Health’s Office of Laboratory Services, which is operating in three locations, including a 70-year-old building in South Charleston and two labs in a former elementary school building in Elkview. Among other things, the labs analyze drinking water quality and test medical cannabis for chemical or bacterial impurities
  • The Division of Labor’s Office of Weights and Measures lab, now located in cramped quarters in St. Albans
  • Forensic labs operated by the West Virginia State Police and the Department of Homeland Security

Marshall University and West Virginia University also will have a presence at the new laboratory complex, according to state officials. The government agencies will retain individual control of their lab programs in the new building, which Charleston-based ZMM Architects and Engineers will design.

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