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Maine's chief medical examiner will get a bigger building to meet need for more autopsies

The state of Maine is planning to move its chief medical examiner into a larger building to accommodate the growing demand for autopsies.

Planning board officials approved the construction of a nearly 19,000 square-foot building in Augusta earlier this week. The new building would more than double the space for the chief medical examiner.

Bob Gurney of the Bureau of General Services said the new building is designed to meet the needs of the chief medical officer for the next 30 years.

"A couple of years ago the state recognized that the current Office of the Chief Medical Examiner facility underserves the state," he told the Augusta planning board earlier this week. Part of the work that our consultant did to determine what they would need to maintain certifications and things like that is they would need to increase the number of autopsies that they do, given the fact that the state's population has grown, and there's a large influx of summertime population in the state."

Maine is on track this year to surpass the state's annual homicide average.