Panama City officials discuss possible visions for historic St. Andrews School

Panama City

PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City leaders are starting to make some plans for the old St. Andrews School campus.

Some of the options will make the building attractive to both tourists and locals.

Panama City City Commissioner Josh Street said the St. Andrews community has been quite vocal in the revitalization process of the St. Andrews School.

“Something that was really important to the community is trying to protect the way that the building looks today,” Street said.

At Tuesday’s city commission meeting commissioners approved the contract with engineers to move forward with the design process for the building. Then they discussed the possible uses for the building. 

Destination Panama City officials brought in an outside consultant for $20 thousand to do a study on how this building would be best used. 

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Based on Destination Panama City’s research, people want an immersive art experience inside the space. They say that want people to see and imagine the potential for this historic building.  

It would include constantly updated virtual art exhibits as well as workshops and other art experiences.

Similar to the “Public Eye Soar” exhibit done at the Panama City Mall for the past eight years.

The goal is to bring more tourism dollars to this side of the Hathaway Bridge and give locals another fun thing to do. 

St. Andrews residents like David Smith liked the possibilities presented at Tuesday’s meeting, but want to ensure the city includes their ideas. 

“Let’s think as we go into this about both those wonderful tax dollars coming in from tourists and that support our community so highly,” Smith said. “But also have that opportunity for our local community to enjoy that facility as well.”

City officials say the immersive art experience is not official, just an idea. Locals say they hope to have another charette to present their ideas.

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