PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Kids and adults in Panama City will now have another option when it comes to recreation.
The newly remodeled A.D. Harris Gymnasium is now complete after it was damaged by Hurricane Michael in 2018.
After the hurricane, multipurpose facilities for sports and community events have been hard to come by. But now, after a fresh coat of paint and some much needed upgrades, the A.D. Harris gymnasium is ready to welcome the Glenwood community once again.
“This is something that is outstanding and I’m glad to see it but it’s not about me, it’s about the citizens and the people here,” said Panama City Commissioner, Kenneth Brown. “They’ve been asking for it for quite some time.”
Community Development Director, Michael Johnson, said they were trying to find an alternative for the MLK rec center that was destroyed in Hurricane Michael as well.
“A lot of the kids actually don’t have anything to do as far as activity wise and so we wanted to make sure they had something,” Johnson said.
Owner of Southern Elite Sports, Brent Dillard, said they have a lot of kids they want to give the opportunity to play in a new facility. The new gym features new hoops and bleachers for friends and families to come watch games.
“The families want to watch their kids play, extended families want to watch their kids play, we hope our high school and middle school coaches come support our programs because these kids are ultimately going to be under their tutelage in the future years so it’s a great environment to have,” Dillard said.
But the gym won’t be used for just basketball games — Johnson said they already have events booked in 2022 like a BBQ and red velvet cake cook off.
“I’m just really happy and excited at the fact that we’re able to utilize the building and to have some activities for the citizens that live in this community,” Johnson said.
There’s still more upgrades to come, Johnson tells us they’re putting in restrooms and concession stand which is something the gymnasium hasn’t had in the past.