PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — City officials and residents in Panama City Beach will soon be using a new city hall as construction on the 14,000 square foot building continues.
Nearly $4 million dollars is going into the project and will house the same individuals as the current city hall. “It’ll have the council chambers and it’ll have all the administrative staff,” said City Manager, Mario Gisbert.
GAC Contractors is head of the project. Gisbert says all framework is up, the roof is finished and now electrical and drywall will come next. Gisbert says, the construction is in its final stages. “You’ll notice that some electrical work is going in. You’ll notice some fire sprinkler work is going in, the mechanical work is going in. All the walls already have the framework up.”
He says once it’s complete, the city’s campus will be complete. “We are now much closer to the public services building so when you come into here with a question, we can give you direction. It is truly a one-stop shop. You can come into this building and deal with anything administrative. You can go into the building that’s 30 feet away and deal with all of your water, sewer, stormwater.”
He says the new building will have security and safety upgrades. “This building is storm-hardened. It’s designed to withstand 145 mph winds. We have a stronger than a normal roof, we have shutters on all the window so that we can protect our window openings. On top of the fact that the windows themselves are impact resistant.”.”
While Hurricane Michael didn’t physically impact the building, Gisbert says it pushed back the completion date. “”The workforce in every realm has been hurt because of the loss of housing. Then you turn around and you have to rebuild three-quarters of our community which means the workforce that is involved in construction has been sucked away. So we haven’t done a whole heck of a lot of complaining about the slow pace of this building because we know that that workforce has gone into helping out the balance of Bay County.”
He says work is scheduled to be complete by the end of October.
The existing city hall annex will be torn down to create more parking as well as a public park.