March 29, 2023

5/31 Memorial Committee Votes to Recommend Dills Architects with SWA Memorial Design Concept to City Council

The City Council-appointed 5/31 Memorial Committee voted unanimously this evening to make a recommendation to City Council to enter into negotiations with Dills Architects with SWA for a design contract based on the design concept submitted for the 5/31 Remembrance Memorial. The committee plans to present its recommendation to City Council on April 4 during the scheduled Council workshop. During the meeting, Councilmembers will have an opportunity to discuss the recommendation and decide on the next steps.

The Dills Architects with SWA design


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 other finalist firm was Rhodeside Harwell, Inc. (RHI) with Larry Kirkland Studio.

On March 2, each firm made a presentation of its conceptual designs to the committee. These presentations were recorded and are shared on the LoveForVB website at Both firms’ full written proposals also are online. The public input survey was conducted from March 3-23, and a telephone town hall was held on March 27 to garner feedback from families, survivors, staff and citizens. Families and survivors also had additional feedback mechanisms via a families and survivors liaison from Kearns & West, the consulting firm hired by the City to facilitate the memorial planning process, as well as through the City’s recovery program administrator.

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

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