Construction begins on new Oregon crime lab in Pendleton

LA GRANDE, Ore. (AP) — Construction has begun on the new Oregon State Police crime lab in Pendleton.

The Observer reports Fortis Constriction Inc. has started work on the foundation of the nearly $1.25 million project.

The city issued a building permit for the 9,500-square-foot (880-square-meter) facility last month.

The state Forensic Services Division operates labs in Bend, Central Point, Pendleton, Portland and Springfield. State Police started planning for a new facility in Pendleton in 2014, but the project faced pushback in the state Legislature over budget concerns.

State Sen. Bill Hansell says State Police did not want to lose a lab in Pendleton, and area lawmakers and prosecutors fought for the lab to stay in the city.