The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Coastal Crime Laboratory in Pooler, GA on Monday.

This new 66,000 square-foot facility is crucial to the Southeast Georgia community as it allows for easier access for law enforcement personnel and has the potential over time to double the staff of the Coastal Lab.  These enhancements mean better service to the lab’s customers that include improving the turnaround time for forensic services.

One of the additional services include adding a Toxicology section with room to expand the existing Chemistry, Firearms, Forensic Biology, and Medical Examiners sections.  The current building has reached the maximum capacity and with the overall growth in population of the area, this expansion is necessary.

This $34,000,000 project was funded by the Georgia legislature and approved by the Governor in three budget cycles (FY ’16, FY ’17, and FY ’18).   The Pooler City Council gifted the state with the land, and GBI’s Staff Services section has been partnering with General Contractor DPR Construction and JMA Architecture to complete the project that is expected to take approximately 18 months.

Today’s ceremony included comments from Governor Nathan Deal, Pooler Mayor Mike Lamb, and GBI Director Vernon Keenan.  Several Board of Public Safety members were present including the Board’s Vice Chairman Ellis Woods.  In addition, Representative Bill Hitchens and Representative Jon Burns were in attendance.

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