VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s a new beginning for a place that will forever be remembered with a dark day in Virginia Beach history.
Building 2 of the Municipal Center, where 12 people were killed in a May 2019 mass shooting, is about to reopen in the coming weeks and become the home for the city’s police administration, the 1st precinct and the city’s IT data center.
Everything inside the building, aside from the elevator shafts, was completely redesigned, and 450,000 pounds of concrete were removed to reconstruct the space, which now features an atrium and an interior bathed in natural light.
“Just being able to have natural light from roof to floor, and then inside offices and outside offices,” said Capt. William Zelms of the Virginia Beach Police Department.
Zelms managed the project and took 10 On Your Side through the building’s three floors. The first floor will house the department’s first precinct, the second floor will be made up of the detective bureau and the third floor contains the city’s new state-of-the-art “Real Time Crime Center,” complete with nine civilian intelligence analysts.
“They’re going to look and provide an extra set of eyes and ears for our officers that are out patrolling,” Zelms said.
Police Chief Paul Neudigate said the space is crucial in bringing together all of the department’s technology under one roof. The current police admin building, Building 11, is around 50 years old and the department has outgrown it.
“They’re going to have office space, they’re going to have technology to move forward, they’re going to have dedicated interview rooms,” Neudigate said.
A 5/31 memorial plaque will also be installed prior to the building’s re-opening.
Construction should be completed by Dec. 5. Neudigate tells us the goal is to have the more than 300 officers and staff members moved in by the end of January.