PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Glenwood residents have been waiting for the city to rebuild the new MLK Rec Center for five years. But the wait is finally over.

The NAACP held a meeting with city officials to answer any final questions about the facility before it’s rebuilt.

Residents of the Glenwood community are excited about the rebuild. Tonight they learned about all the new amenities to be coming like an e-sports center, a teaching kitchen, a recording and editing studio, and much more.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center has been a centerpiece of the Glenwood neighborhood since 1945.

In 2018, like many facilities, it was destroyed by Hurricane Michael.

They are in the process of rebuilding, and community members are ready.

“Let’s work and stand together and watch this project happen. Our children need this rec center,” said a Glenwood resident.

The NAACP held a  roundtable meeting at the Greater Bethel AME Church Monday night, Nov. 13. to discuss the future of the  MLK Rec Center.

“The community is here, and the reason they’re here is because they are very, very much concerned about the Martin Luther King Jr. recreation center being rebuilt,” said NAACP President Dr. Rufus Wood Jr.

The Glenwood community has been without the rec center for 5 years now and has been working tirelessly to get a new facility built.

The project went out for bid on Nov. 8.

“We’ve reached a major milestone in the completion of MLK Rec Center,” said Panama City Assistant City Manager Jared Jones.

Bids will be accepted through Dec. 22.

The community center building will be 12,000 square feet and the new gymnasium will be 18,000 square feet.

It will cost 20 million dollars.

“We love our children and we want to help them to maximize their full potential and be the very, very best that they can be. And we know the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center will be a major part of that again,” Wood Jr. said.

The new facility will have more than it did before.

“The two full-court gyms that can convert to multiple half-court gyms. The amenities kind of go on and on. There’s reading and study rooms and you know, I can it’s just going to be a fantastic facility for everybody of all ages,” Jones said.

Jones said the city plans on holding a groundbreaking ceremony sometime in Feb.

Construction is estimated to take 18 to 24 months to complete.

City officials are discussing adding a phase two which will include a community garden and a statue of Martin Luther King Jr.