PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Because of the Nelson family’s generosity, Bay High School broke ground on a project they had been working on for almost seven years.
“Our whole family has always been big public school supporters. If you do not have first-class facilities to give the students as much choice as they can, the community gets hurt,” said Bubba Nelson, sponsor.
The new fine arts center will be at the corner of 13th Street and Harrison Avenue, right next to the STEM building that’s currently under construction.
“Our buildings are more than just buildings, they’re tools that we use in kind of our quiver, so as we speak, to educate our kiddos,” said Steve Moss, Bay County District Schools Board member.
This particular fine arts building will bring more use than just educating.
“We and the architects are looking at this as kind of a gateway to downtown Panama City. There are so many elements in this in addition to education,” said Ginger Littleton, Former Bay County District Schools Board member.
Florida Architects Incorporated designed the new building and said there is a lot of meaning behind its structure.
The outside of the building will resemble what Bay High School used to look like, but the inside is a whole different story.
“We wanted to make sure that inside we could bring in, too, all of the possible accents that we could find into the digital systems, projectors and sound systems and combine into the ability to have an art gallery,” said Antonio Adessi, Florida Architects’ Director of Design.
The design director said the art gallery will be like any other art gallery you can find in the world with a lot of natural lighting.
School Board members, along with the architects, say this will be a game-changer for Bay High School.
The project is expected to be complete in about 18 months.