February 27, 2023

5/31 Memorial Committee to Meet with Finalist Design Firms March 2

​The next meeting of the City Council-appointed 5/31 Memorial Committee will take place from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, 2023, at the Virginia Beach Economic Development Conference Room, 4545 Main St., Suite 700 in Town Center. The meeting is open to the public and will also be available via live streaming on www.virginiabeach.gov and www.facebook.com/cityofvabeach.

The purpose of this meeting is to hear from the two finalist design firms as they share their concepts for a permanent memorial to honor those lost and forever impacted by the mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center on May 31, 2019. Representatives for both design firms will be on hand to present their proposals to the committee and to answer questions related to their proposals.

Last fall, the City issued a Request for Qualifications to solicit submissions from professional design teams across the nation who were interested in and capable of creating a serene place of quiet reflection and healing for all those impacted by and in remembrance of those lost and injured on 5/31. In November 2022, the 5/31 Memorial Committee reviewed all submissions received by the deadline and selected two firms to move forward to the next phase of the competition.

The finalist firms are Dills Architects with SWA and Rhodeside Harwell Inc. (RHI) with Kirkland Studio. Team profiles can be found at www.loveforvb.com/memorial/design-firm-finalists.

On March 2, each firm will be given 45 minutes to share conceptual plans, three-dimensional sketches/representations, a written description and other materials to effectively convey their design concepts, and then the committee will have 45 minutes to interview the representatives of the firms and ask any questions. The team from Dills Architects will present and answer questions first, followed by the team from RHI, with a 30-minute break between the two sessions.

The anticipated next steps are as follows:

  • Firms make presentations and are interviewed by the 5/31 Memorial Committee on March 2.
  • The public input survey is open March 3-23.
  • On March 29, the 5/31 Memorial Committee will meet to review the input received, evaluate the submissions, and determine what their recommendation to City Council will be. The procurement portion of this meeting will take place in a closed session.

Committee Background

City Council appointed 13 members to the committee, representing a cross-section of the community and including family members and affected staff members. The City hired consulting firm Kearns & West to facilitate the committee and memorial planning process, to serve as a liaison to the families and survivors and to create multiple opportunities for the families, survivors and community to provide input into the planning process. For more information on the committee, visit LoveForVB.com.

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