$20 million improvements planned for Houston-area forensics lab

January 5, 2024

Harris County’s Institute of Forensic Sciences (IFS) has been awarded a $12.1 million federal grant to renovate and expand the facility that provides medical examiner and crime laboratory services for the Houston area. A Congressional subcommittee awarded the grant in December, an official from U.S. Representative Al Green’s office told Government Market News.

The $20 million project will consolidate medical and crime lab services and includes relocating and expanding the Forensic Genetics (DNA) Laboratory, currently located off-site at 2450 Holcombe Blvd.

The project will help tackle funeral home and criminal case backlogs that require increased DNA testing capacity. Upgrades will also be made to firearms identification systems.

“The new grant will enable IFS to increase our testing capacity, expand forensic services, and allow us to continue to provide timely information to law enforcement agencies and the courts,” IFS Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Luis Arturo Sanchez said in a release.

The Institute’s DNA lab is one of the busiest in the state, analyzing more than 2,000 cases annually, he said. Eighty-four agencies submitted 23,394 cases to the crime lab in 2022, according to the IFS website.

Plans also call for renovating floors in the six-story building, expanding IT service and adding a centralized breakroom and staff wellness/exercise area. Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2025 and be completed by the end of that year.

Strategic Partnerships, Inc. can provide information on contract opportunities, plus existing and future government funding. For more information, contact research@spartnerships.com.

Photo by Michelelynnarnold

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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