RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — State lawmakers won’t move into the Virginia General Assembly’s new office building in downtown Richmond for the 2023 session due to supply chain issues.
The problems “threaten to inhibit completion of the building in time to prepare for a successful legislative session” and will force lawmakers and their staffs to remain in the Pocahontas Building through till at least the end of the 2023 session, according to the Virginia Department of General Services.
The Department of General Services, the agency managing construction of the new 14-story-tall office building, said plans to have lawmakers in the building by mid-October were on schedule before the issues.
The agency said in a release that shipments of materials required for building code compliance and operations have been delayed, including audio and visual equipment for the assembly’s legislative work. Equipment needed for critical building code compliance testing has also been delayed.
“Like so many, I regret not being able to move in on time to the first purpose-built GAB for the public to more easily observe and actively participate in the law-making process,” Virginia House of Delegates Clerk G. Paul Nardo said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we simply are not immune to the delays, prolonged delivery schedules and other deferrals being experienced by so many across Virginia and around the country and world.”
Virginia Senate Clerk Susan Clarke Schaar said in a statement that “supply issues and COVID-19 have made major impacts on the process and we cannot at this time ensure a functional and complete building.”
The new General Assembly office building will have tunnels to connect it to a new parking deck at the corner of Broad and 9th streets and the Virginia State Capitol’s underground visitor’s center.
Construction of the office building began in 2019 and the Department of General Services says it is expected to be fully functional in early 2023.