OK Supreme Court Clears Way For New Building For Medical Examine - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

OK Supreme Court Clears Way For New Building For Medical Examiner

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Construction could begin soon on a new office for the Oklahoma Medical Examiner say those close to the project.

Tuesday the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge to the way the project is being funded, clearing the way for a new building.

The new building would be built on the UCO campus between the Forensic Science Center and the OSBI lab.

For years, the State Medical Examiner has been pleading for a new building. At their current one equipment is outdated, the roof leaks, boxes of files line the halls, tissue samples are stacked in the garage, and the air carries a smell that is a mixture of bleach and death due to a broken ventilation system.

Then last spring, bodies had to be moved into refrigerated trucks after their cooler broke down.

"We are frustrated," said Chief Administrative Officer Amy Elliott.

Elliott says the worst part is they don't have enough room for all the pathologists they need meaning they fall further behind every day in getting cause of death reports to loved ones and law enforcement.

"If we had a building that had room to actually put more forensic pathologists in, that problem could be solved."

In January, a state panel approved using $40 million in higher education bonds for construction of new ME's office. But critics called it a misuse of the funding program, and the case went to court. Now the decision by the Supreme Court could clear the way for a new facility.

5/17/2012 Related Story: State Lawmaker Blasts Condition Of Medical Examiner's Office

A committee will meet Thursday to vote on reauthorizing the bonds. Then after a lease agreement is worked out with OCU, groundbreaking could begin within months.

It would take about three years to construct a new building.

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