Workers to Return to Washington Navy Yard Building After 2013 Mass Shooting - NBC New York
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Workers to Return to Washington Navy Yard Building After 2013 Mass Shooting

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hundreds of Employees Make First Return to Navy Yard's Building 197

    A new start for hundreds of workers at the Washington Navy Yard went smoothly on Monday. Now, more than a year and a half since the mass shooting there, News4's Mark Segraves explains why some survivors still won't be returning to Building 197. (Published Monday, Feb. 2, 2015)

    The Washington Navy Yard building that was the site of a mass shooting that killed 12 civilians in 2013 reopened Monday after extensive renovations.

    About 400 employees of the Naval Sea Systems Command reported to work at Building 197 on Monday morning.

    "Mixed feelings, but I'm happy to be back," said employee Andrea Terry. "We'll probably get more emotional as we go throughout our day. When you start seeing people that you haven't seen since we were in the building."

    The building has been closed since the September 2013 shooting, in which 12 people were killed and four others were injured. The gunman, Aaron Alexis, was killed by police. Alexis was a civilian contractor and former Navy reservist who suffered from mental health problems.

    The Naval Sea Systems Command said the building has a new layout and appearance following the renovations, which also repaired damage from the shooting. There's also an area in the building that honors the 12 victims of the 2013 shooting.

    Vice Admiral William Hilarides said it will be good to have everyone in one central location again.

    "Being in several buildings spread out across Washington just makes the teamwork and work harder," Hilarides said. "So we've been a little less efficient than we would be if we were all together."

    A total of 2,700 workers were displaced by the shooting. Workers will move back in gradually over the next several weeks.

    Counselors will also be on hand to talk to anyone having anxiety about returning to the building.

    "...We're getting everybody together again and getting back to as normal as can be," said Navy Yard employee Bill Pavesi.