PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The plans for the new juvenile courthouse are underway.

Bay County Commissioners voted Tuesday to accept and approve the debt committee recommendations on the 15-million-dollar courthouse loan.

With the funding now secured, the county can move forward with a new juvenile courthouse at the McKenzie Avenue courthouse campus.

Bay County Commission Chairman Robert Carroll said they are finalizing the construction numbers with the contractor and then will be able to move forward if the contract is approved.

Carroll said this move will make it easier on the bailiffs, the judges, and the public.

“We’re looking to start immediately on it. We need to move this thing forward,” Carroll said. “All the people who work at the courthouse have been cramped in spaces, sharing spaces because of the loss of all of the facilities that we had. They are all still working but in much smaller spaces so we need to get this thing going just as soon as possible.”

This comes after the federal government terminated its lease with Bay County for the old juvenile justice courthouse on East 11th Street earlier this month. The city of Panama City has expressed interest in buying the building.