VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- City Council voted unanimously Tuesday on a location for a new city hall. They decided to put the new building right next to their current city hall at the municipal center.
Virginia Beach City Councilman John Moss says it’s nice to know where the new city hall will be built, but work still needs to be done.
“I still think it still remains to be decided how big that new building needs to be,” said Moss.
The plan is to build a new, $55 million dollar, 149,000-square-foot building between the current city hall and the operations building. It would be 70,000 more square feet than the building they are currently it.
"The bottom line is this building needs so much work that it's going to be better for us to go ahead and build a new building at this time," said Mayor Will Sessoms. "And this is a unanimous decision by the council."
Councilman Bobby Dyer said the city worked closely with the public to make sure moving city hall is something they wanted.
"We had three public meetings where we really engaged the public to come out and participate and tell us what they thought," said Dyer. "They were pretty much responsible for us eliminating the possibility of taking it to town center."
When 13News Now asked Mayor Sessoms if $55 million is a wise use of taxpayer dollars, he replied, "I don't think we have any other choice."
There was a proposal to move city hall to Town Center. The city says public input was the driving force behind their decision to keep city hall at the municipal center. Not one person spoke out against it at the meeting.
“People love the campus and take a lot of pride in the municipal center and I think we are going to have a win win situation with this,” said City Councilman Robert Dyer.
As for the current city hall, the city still has plans to renovate it and continue to use it in the future.
“We are not going to tear this down, this building is a treasure for the city, but we can’t put anyone back in it until we clean out the asbestos and improve the infrastructure,” said facilities engineer Tom Nicholas.
The city’s goal is to begin construction of the new city hall in the Spring of 2019 and officially open up by the year 2021.