City Moving Meetings to Convention Center Effective October 13, 2020
Suite 5 of the Virginia Beach Convention Center will be the new location for meetings of the City Council and Planning Commission for the foreseeable future. The move, effective Tuesday, October 13, follows recommendations from the City's Occupational Safety and Health Office and the Virginia Beach Department of Health. Planning and Community Development is evaluating options for its various Board meetings.The reasons for this move are threefold: Despite best efforts to reconfigure the space, the narrow aisles and other layout restrictions prevent us from consistently achieving the recommended physical distancing. Under current conditions, the HVAC system does not meet the expectations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) for air movement, cleaning and re-circulation. Specifically, we have too many people in a small, enclosed space for extended periods of time.The number of people we can safely accommodate in the space is severely limited. "Most of the meetings we have had over the last two months have been at the convention center, so while we will be in a different room, this solution allows us to exercise greater precautions than we are able to attain in the meeting chamber in City Hall," said City Manager Patrick Duhaney. "We will continue to encourage everyone to follow COVID-19 best practices, including not attending in person unless absolutely necessary. The meetings are live streamed to VBTV, VBGov.com and Facebook, which makes it convenient for people who want to stay informed without taking unnecessary risks." Suite 5 satisfies the concerns identified with the City Hall meeting chamber and offers several advantages. Among them: It is large enough to accommodate 40 audience members and, on the rare occasions when we have more people who attend in person, there are spacious waiting areas nearby. There is an adjacent room for food and breaks. It is located at the west end of the convention center, away from the large meeting spaces that are typically rented (when we are able to resume these types of events). Parking is convenient, restrooms are nearby and there are escalators and an elevator adjacent to this suite.