RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue cut the ribbon on a new facility to house the State Laboratory of Public Health and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Officials said Monday the new $52 million building located off Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh is state of the art.

The state health lab is designed to meet or exceed national standards for bioterrorism and hazardous chemical response. The lab also conducts tests for e. coli and West Nile virus, as well as processing newborn genetic screenings and HIV tests.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Deborah Radisch said the state's spacious new autopsy suite provides additional storage and workspace to help her agency handle the 2,200 death reviews it conducts annually.

The new facility is expected to house 270 employees by early 2013.

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