PCB municipal complex almost complete
PANAMA CITY BEACH — The city will soon be one step closer to finishing an extensive redevelopment plan.
Dubbed the 2014 Municipal Complex Master Plan, the project’s current phase will end in about a month.
Before a Feb. 13 city council meeting, the phase originally included the construction of a new city hall, the demolition of the old city hall and the development of a plaza adjacent to U.S. Highway 98. Following the meeting, it was expanded to include more than $80,000 in additions.
The new features, which will be complete in about a month, include a wall on the north end of the park, a bronze exterior dedication plaque and a desk area in the council chambers.
According to Al Shortt, the city’s utility director, construction of the north wall was discussed back with the master plan was being developed.
“The original master plan included some type of feature on the north end of the park ... but based on the initial feedback between the city manager and architect, there wasn’t any real agreement on how it should look,” Shortt said.
For Debbie Ward, the city’s spokeswoman, the developments are an essential part in making things more convenient for residents and visitors.
“This city truly has a municipal complex now with the new police station, public services building and city hall,” Ward wrote in an email.
The only thing left to do before the 2014 master plan is complete is renovate the police impound yard and build a fire station, she added.
Next Thursday, the city will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the plaza, as well as a meet and greet with the new city manager, Tony O'Rourke. The plaza is the ongoing portion of the phase.
According to Al Harris, project manager for GAC Contractors, the company overseeing the developments, it will resemble “some of the places you see on 30A.”
Harris added that construction on the entire phase of the master plan has went smoothly. It began in 2018.
“(The plaza is) basically an outdoor gathering area,” he said. “It’ll have a concrete deck area (and a grass pavilion).”