LA GRANDE, Ore. (AP) — Construction has begun on the new Oregon State Police crime lab in Pendleton.

The East Oregonian reports Fortis Constriction Inc. has started work on the foundation of the nearly $1.25 million project.

The city issued a building permit for the 9,500-square-foot (880-square-meter) facility last month.

The state Forensic Services Division operates labs in Bend, Central Point, Pendleton, Portland and Springfield. State Police started planning for a new facility in Pendleton in 2014, but the project faced pushback in the state Legislature over budget concerns.

State Sen. Bill Hansell says State Police did not want to lose a lab in Pendleton, and area lawmakers and prosecutors fought for the lab to stay in the city.

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This story has been updated to correct the attribution to the East Oregonian.

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Information from: The (La Grande) Observer, http://www.lagrandeobserver.com/