VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The City of Virginia Beach has narrowed down its options of firms to help the city develop a permanent memorial to honor and remember the lives lost following the mass shooting on May 31, 2019.

In a press release from city officials Tuesday, the City Council-appointed 5/31 Memorial Committee reported that it has completed Phase I of its process and selected two professional design firms to participate in Phase II.

Using a combination of numerical scoring and consensus process facilitated by Dr. Larry Schooler of Kearns & West, the committee selected two finalist teams:

During Phase II of the process, the firms will have the opportunity to engage with stakeholders.

The two firms are expected to present conceptual plans, three-dimensional sketches/representations, written description and other materials to effectively convey their design concepts to the 5/31 Memorial Committee and the community. An opinion of probable construction cost is required for each design concept.

The anticipated timeline of milestones is as follows:

  • Firms will provide stakeholder engagement plans in December 2022.
  • Firms will be provided the opportunity to visit sites and engage with the 5/31 Memorial Committee members and/or stakeholders in January 2023.
  • Firms will submit proposals in mid-February. In late February, firms present proposals for committee and public review. The 5/31 Memorial Committee expects to interview representatives from both firms.
  • The 5/31 Memorial Committee will solicit stakeholder feedback on designs throughout March.
  • In late March-early April, the 5/31 Memorial Committee will meet to select one of the two firms, and then will make a recommendation to City Council.

Back in July, the 5/31 committee made the selection to set up the memorial at the corner of Nimmo Parkway and Princess Anne Road, at one of the entrances to the Municipal Center. It is city-owned property.

Committee members said they chose this site because of its location, its parking, and its natural features, such as water and some seclusion. It also has water and the utility infrastructure needed already on-site.

It’s been more than three years since a former city employee went into Building 2 at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center and opened fire. The shooting took the lives of 12 people and injured five others.

Check for the latest updates.