Virginia Beach is scheduled to finish construction of a new $50 million City Hall building by fall.
More than 300 employee workspaces are scheduled to shift to the new site between November and January of next year, said Tom Nicholas, public works facility engineer, who briefed the City Council on the issue on Tuesday afternoon.
In 2017, Nicholas, who manages all city buildings, recommended building a new City Hall to give staff more space. At the time, he said renovating City Hall would be more costly partly because asbestos in the building would require that all employees relocate temporarily. He also warned that the electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems were original to the building, which is more than 50 years old, and could fail at any moment.
The City Council weighed several options, including moving City Hall to Town Center, and ultimately decided to build new near the existing City Hall on the Municipal Center campus.
The construction has been underway during the pandemic and the project was supposed to be finished by early summer.
The opening date of the building has been pushed back a few months due to delays in receiving building materials. Nicholas said the materials for the building’s exterior brick veneer were delayed because the supplier shut down for several months due to COVID-19. The brick has arrived on site, Nicholas said.
The new City Hall will be more than 130,000 square feet. The exterior design will match the architecture of the more than 30 Colonial-style buildings at the Municipal Center.
The city also has plans to spend up to $83 million renovating three more buildings through 2023: the current City Hall, Building 2 and the current police headquarters.
Renovations on Building 2 — the site of a mass shooting on May 31, 2019 — will begin soon, Nicholas said. The former office spaces for the Departments of Public Works, Public Utilities, Planning, Information Technology have been nearly vacant since a city engineer killed 12 people and severely injured four employees. The shooter died after a gun battle with police.
The Police Department is scheduled to begin relocating to Building 2 in the fall of 2022. Nicholas said the interior will be reconfigured to suit the needs of police and will not look like the former offices.
The current City Hall and police headquarters will house other city departments. The construction is expected to start after Building 2 is completed and will be finished by 2023.
Alissa Skelton, 757-995-9043, email@example.com.