The director of the forensics research station talked with KJCT about the newest addition to Colorado Mesa University. It's something the school has been working on since 2010.
CMU hopes to start using it for classes next semester, but officials say it will be another six months to a year before bodies start being stored.
"It's good to help identify the remains, it's good to help identify the bad guys and maybe keep some good guys out of jail," Melissa Connor said.
The building under construction across from the Mesa County Animal Services and near the Mesa County landfill will soon be home to human and animal remains.
CMU has been working on building this so called “body farm” for a solid two years.
"Colorado Mesa is doing a decomposition research facility so this will be a classroom and lab out by the facility that we can use to process remains, to store remains and for education in the classroom," Connor said.
But don't let that creep you out. Facilities like these are becoming a trend as forensic science continues to advance.
"There's four other decomposition research facilities up and running and there's several others trying to get started besides this one,” she said. “We're still here in the beginning stages."
But this location is unique in that it is the first of its kind not only on the Western Slope, but also in an arid climate at high elevation.
"To take research that's done in Tennessee and to apply it to a set of human remains that have been found out here in the desert of western Colorado is just very difficult there's a bunch of variables that don't match," Connor said.
The university says it's building location was strategically picked. It's far enough from the community that it won't affect them, but it's close enough to town to help local law enforcement.
"We'll be able to work with them and maybe help them understand what happens to human bodies in this environment between death and the time they might actually find unidentified human remains," Connor said.
CMU currently does not offer a major in forensics, but students can minor in forensics biology. The school is also looking to add a forensics anthropology minor in the future.