(AP) - The Navy Yard building in Washington where a gunman killed 12 people will get a new visitor's entrance and a renovated interior, including a "remembrance area" for the victims, a military spokeswoman said Monday.
Building 197 will remain the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, where most of those slain Sept. 16 worked as either civilian Navy employees or contractors, Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich said. She said the interior will be renovated and brightened to give the nearly 3,000 workers "a sense of a different place" when they return to the red brick structure in early 2015.
"We're doing everything we can to make the transition back to the building easier on the employees," she said.
An employee entrance that formerly served as the main entrance also will be renovated, Rebarich said.
The Navy will work with any employees who aren't comfortable returning to the building to find workspace elsewhere in the Navy Yard complex, she said. Many of the command's employees are now working out of a former U.S. Coast Guard headquarters building in Washington, she said.
The Navy expects to award the contract next month and complete the work in early 2015, Rebarich said. She had no cost estimate.
Rebarich said the Navy has no sketch of the proposed redesign, a composite of three proposals developed by CH2M Hill Constructors Inc. of Englewood, Colo.
The FBI says information technology contractor Aaron Alexis fatally shot 12 people inside the building Sept. 16 before he was killed by police.