After almost 50 years in the same building at the Municipal Center in Princess Anne, Virginia, the city of Virginia Beach is finally prepared to move its seat of government to a new City Hall, one that is free of asbestos. In fact, city employees were finally able to convince the powers that be that the time was right to make the move by highlighting the dangers the asbestos-laden insulation and floor tiles could pose to municipal workers doing the city’s business.
The City of Virginia Beach Facilities Engineer recently released a short video detailing some of the issues plaguing the half-century old structure including central heating, the electrical grid, plumbing, insulation, and how they all are hampered by asbestos-related concerns. While the asbestos in the building does not pose a threat to workers in the material’s current form, even modest repairs or alterations to some of the building’s core systems could result in a serious environmental hazard.
Were the city to attempt any repairs, the entirely building would likely need to be evacuated to ensure innocent people did not come in contact with cancer-causing asbestos. Unfortunately, there have been far too many stories of public and private sector workers developing serious health problems, particularly mesothelioma, from inhaling asbestos and other carcinogenic debris while working in buildings undergoing renovations.