COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The coroner's office serving the county where Ohio's capital city is located is preparing for construction of a bigger facility with better laboratory services.

The Dispatch reports that officials will break ground Wednesday for the new Franklin County Forensic Science Center in central Ohio.

The paper says the number of cases falling under the coroner's jurisdiction in greater Columbus is growing thanks to a rising population, the statewide drug epidemic and other factors.

The office handled 1,951 cases last year, performed 1,376 autopsies and took part in 1,270 death-scene investigations.

The new facility will have a bigger toxicology lab and more space for samples for crime cases that are required to be stored indefinitely.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com