Renovations have begun on the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, and will include moving the city’s data center from the basement to the third floor.

Virginia Beach Facilities Construction and Design Director Shawn Rockwell told local press demolition work began in February and the renovations will be complete in the spring of 2022. Building 2 renovation costs are estimated to be around $26 million.

When complete, Building 2 will be home to Virginia Beach Police Headquarters, the first precinct, and the city's data center.

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New start for scene of 2019 shooting

Virginia Beach, VA
– Thinkstock

Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center was the site of a mass shooting in 2019. A gunman killed 12 people in the building on May 31, 2019. The building has largely been empty since then with workers previously based there relocated to other Government offices.

The city’s data center remained in the building, and is connected to City Hall with a tunnel. According to official documents, IT staff still occupy the basement level to maintain operations. The new data center will be moved from the basement onto Floor 3.

“I think that’s a good way to put it. A fresh start,” said Rockwell. “It was tragic... Given this decision to bring people back into the building, it’s just very important to us that we’re doing it right.”

The renovations are part of a massive city hall renovation program, which will see a new three-story city hall built adjacent to the current city hall. The old city hall, Building 1, will house Public Utilities and Planning. Public Works and parts of IT will move into Building 11. Those departments should move in late 2023.