NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — North Dakota health leaders are asking the state for around $55 million to build a new state laboratory.

Health leaders presented their plans to the house appropriations committee on Thursday.

Right now, health leaders are working out of the current lab along Main Avenue in Bismarck, which was built in 1974.

During the last session, lawmakers approved $15 million for a new lab, which would cost around $70 million to build.

The new lab would be three stories and around 100,000 square feet. The lab’s chief officer Christie Massen says the current building is falling into disrepair.

“For example, we have equipment blocking doorways. So, we’re just cramped tight,” Christie Massen said. “We have equipment out in hallways instead of in a lab like it should be. So, we’re just really not operating on an efficient level. A new facility like this would really give us power to reorganize and work more efficiently.”

This winter, state health leaders plan to decide on where to build the new lab.

If the funding is approved, the lab would take around two years to build, with plans of being operational by the winter of 2026.