The renovations taking place at the SIU hiring hall in Norfolk, Virginia, are moving along, with the months-long project recently entering a new phase.
“The renovations have been extensive, and the members can expect a much-improved facility when we reopen,” said SIU Assistant Vice President Pat Vandegrift. “From below the floors to above the ceilings, windows to walls, the crews have been hard at work modernizing and improving the building.”
These modernizations undoubtedly will be welcomed, as the building first opened for business as a hall on Nov. 4, 1963. At the time, the Seafarers LOG reported, “Included in the fully air-conditioned structure is an expanded hiring hall … with ample space to handle all membership and business functions of the union.”
Since then, the building has been spruced up from time to time, though nowhere near as extensively as now. The improvements include upgraded, more energy-efficient windows, as well as fully renovated restrooms, plumbing, concrete, and electrical wiring. When the project is completed, members and guests can expect to see a brand-new counter, as well as new furniture and other furnishings.
Vandegrift said, “It’s a complete interior renovation, and it’s moving as expected towards reopening.”
Of course, one thing that won’t change is the prime location. The hall is situated near the waterfront and close to main roads, which undoubtedly are factors in the other local development taking place near the hall.
Until the hiring hall at 115 Third Street reopens, the temporary facility located at 111 Mill Creek Parkway, Suite 100, Chesapeake, Virginia, will remain fully operational and ready to serve members in the area.
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