PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City took the next step on Tuesday to advance its plans to replace the Marina Civic Center. The city has plans to build a $100 million building that will be used as a civic center, performing arts center and convention center. 

“The Marina Civic Center is of the utmost importance to our local community,” Panama City Commissioner Billy Rader said. “It provides an incredible service that nothing else comes close to in our area.”

On Tuesday, the commissioners approved $500,000 to be used for a consultant, to ensure that the funds for the project are used appropriately and efficiently. Panama City also gave approval for city manager Mark McQueen to begin negotiating with architecture firms.

“The next step is for me to enter into negotiations with Wilson Butler Fintrest to go ahead and get them on board as under contract for the architecture and engineering services,” McQueen said. 

If McQueen is unable to reach an agreement with Wilson Butler Architects, the city will move on to other architecture firms that submitted plans.

If McQueen and Wilson Butler Architects do reach an agreement, commissioners can approve the deal within six weeks.