VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - During his annual State of the City address, Mayor Will Sessoms pushed back on what he says is false information being spread throughout the city regarding city investments.
"I'm sick and tired [of it] and I hope you can tell from the tone of the speech," Sessoms said after the address.
Sessoms laid out several projects he hope will help make the Oceanfront a year-round destination, including a proposed surf park at the old Dome Site. Musician and Virginia Beach native Pharrell is involved in the project. "We must step up our game to continue to be a player in the extremely competitive world of tourism," he said.
Another proposed project would be built in the area where the city once hoped an arena would go. The city wants a sports venue to be built across the street from the Convention Center.
The 250,000 square-foot building would house a track and basketball courts. Sessoms hopes it would one day host the NCAA track and field championships. "I believe this is going to be huge," he said.
The projects would need city involvement. Sessoms used a video to explain how public-private partnerships work and detailed how the city uses tourism dollars. "I think it's absolutely important that the city be able to put the facts out and then let the citizens decide if we're right or wrong," he said.
Mayor Sessoms also announced that Old Dominion University will renovate the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center to offer new graduate programs in health sciences. The expansion will bring an additional 850 students and 62 faculty members to the Virginia Beach center.
In addition, he says the city is filing lawsuit against the manufacturers of opioids. News 3 is working to get more details on the lawsuit.