Less than five months after hosting a ground-breaking ceremony, Washburn University held a “topping-out” ceremony on Sept. 24 to celebrate progress in the construction of a KBI forensics lab on campus.
A crane hoisted a beam, signed by participants in the ceremony, to the southeast corner of the structure located just off 21st Street and Washburn Ave. As the crowd cheered, the beam was fastened into place.
Six different agencies and organizations are teaming up to make the lab a reality. The 100,000 square foot facility is slated for completion by October of 2015. It will house specific spaces for departments such as biology, DNA, toxicology, chemistry, firearm/tool mark, latent prints, trace evidence and digital forensics, as well as vehicle processing and evidence storage.
The Kansas Department of Administration (KDOA) played a key role in developing a plan whereby Washburn would construct and the KBI lease a new $55 million crime lab. The project brought together not just the KBI, the university and the KDOA, but also the Topeka Public Building Commission, the Attorney General’s office and the City of Topeka.