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Two big projects, including renovations to site of Virginia Beach mass shooting, nixed from state budget

Photos: Virginia Beach weighs whether to tear down Building Two at Municipal Center
Posted at 1:53 PM, Nov 10, 2020

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Each time it downpours, roads often end up looking like lakes near Sandbridge, trapping the 4,000 residents that call the area home or the more than 800,000 that visit the beach annually.

"Putting in the new Nimmo Parkway would have raised the road and extended it so it wouldn't flood," said Senator Bill DeSteph, who represents Virginia's 8th congressional district.

The Nimmo Parkway Access Project, at a cost of $26 million, was one of several items slashed from Governor Northam's state budget Monday, a huge disappointment to Senator DeSteph.

"There is a national security element to this," he said. "When Sandbridge road floods, they have to open back gate to Dam Neck, and when that happens, they have to put the guards everywhere and protect everything - and it is a nightmare."

The budget initially included $10 million for the roadway improvement, and that money would have freed up another $10 million to go toward renovations of Building 2 at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, the site of the May 2019 mass shooting.

But that, too, was nixed. The governor stated the Nimmo project "jumped the line and needed to go through existing review processes."

"We are disappointed it would have been helpful with the overall recovery," said Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer.

Building 2, the site where 12 employees were gunned down, still sits empty. The city says they still have plans to move the police and IT departments.

The total cost for renovations is around $30 million, and the completion date is set for 2022. They plan to discuss new options to release the $30 million at Tuesday's night's council meeting.

"It is important to a lot of people we get back to our normal operations as much as possible," said Dyer.

Click here for full coverage on the Virginia Beach mass shooting.