Renovation plans for the A.D. Harris gym include a full size basketball court

Panama City

PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — Looking for a place to shoot some hoops in Panama City?  Well, the A.D. Harris gymnasium is getting some much-needed renovations. 

The space suffered significant damage in Hurricane Michael. So after two years with no action, the gym is about to get a facelift. 

Brent Dillard, the owner of Southern Elite Sports, opened his business after the storm. He said finding spaces in town for his sports leagues to play has been tough.

“Ever since Hurricane Michael came through, facilities have been hard to come by,” Dillard said. “Courts and fields and things are bouncing back so there are more options.”

Dillard said being able to utilize A.D. Harris will help. Having this gym in town will be more convenient for kids and adults. Dillard said having these city-owned facilities available for use will improve community involvement in our area. 

“In the winter season, schools are playing basketball so the school gyms may be harder to come by and harder to utilize,” Dillard said. “So the fact that we have a gym that can be dedicated to programs that are unrelated to the schools is going to be a tremendous help.”

Panama City CRA Director, Michael Johnson, said once the renovations are finished A.D. Harris will go from a half-sized court to a full-size regulation court where they can host games and tournaments. He said the purpose of the renovation is to make the site active once again. 

“We want to make some renovations such as painting and updating the landscaping and so on to make it more attractive to those individuals who would like to occupy space there,” Johnson said.

The plans also include refinishing the floors, adding bleachers, two new basketball hoops, and a scoreboard. Johnson said the hope is A.D. Harris will become a place for the community to come together. 

“We hope that by bringing this additional traffic we will bring additional interest and so the community will certainly be pleased with that,” Johnson said.

This project will cost around $112 thousand and will be funded by FEMA.  

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