PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Glenwood Community Center was damaged during Hurricane Michael. Work crews repaired the damages and reopened the center for private events in 2019.

In 2022, it was booked for 49 weekends but the community has been waiting for it to reopen to public events.

The wait should be over next month when Panama City’s Quality of Life department will begin hosting free public events.

“We need something for all people, we need something for the children, for the youth, we need something for the adults, we need something for senior adults, we need something so that we can meet the people where they are and help them be elevated to maximize their potential,” Glenwood resident Mattie Gainer said.

Quality of Life officials said they’re listening and want to give the community what they want.

“We’re trying to deliver the best product and best service to the community and to make sure that we’re doing what they want,” Quality of Life Director Sean DePalma said. “We’re public servants. They pay us and we’re here to serve them.”

The city is considering a number of improvements, like better parking lot lighting, landscaping, events for seniors, cooking programs, and health and wellness seminars.

City officials recently moved the United Way’s volunteer income tax assistance program from Glenwood to A.D. Harris Learning Village to create openings.

“So bringing it to A.D Harris helped us free this building up for the next four months because that program would have been housed there for months, 24/7 in the sense that they had to secure the information and there would have been no access to the public outside of that program for this building,” DePalma said.

Gainer is optimistic Quality of Life will bring events to the center.

“I’m appreciative that we had the opportunity to voice our concerns and ask questions and I’m glad to know that they’re about to do some things here in the community so that it will enhance the quality of our lives,” Gainer said.

City officials gathered written surveys at Tuesday’s community meeting and plan to solicit more ideas and suggestions with a digital survey.