PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Several communities are still trying to make their Hurricane Michael comeback– including the Cove community in Panama City.
The Cove hasn’t been the same since 2018. The neighborhood park, Sudduth Park, was destroyed by the hurricane. It once stood as a place that residents enjoyed.
“Young kids, and then softball and also soccer practice and then, of course, people with their dogs so it was well-used,” Cove resident Monica Gleason said.
Gleason believes the park’s rebuild is going to be even better than the original. They are adding a playground, a bigger concession stand, and all new lighting and netting for the rebuilt baseball field.
“There’s a lot of nostalgia for this park, and this park, a lot of folks that have deep roots in this community as children they played in this park,” Panama City manager Mark McQueen said.
Construction crews broke ground on this $1.3 million project earlier this year. The city is on pace to finish the field by November. Gleason cannot wait for it to be completed.
“It looks beautiful and it’s going to make a big difference on this side,” Gleason said.
City officials said Sudduth Park is just the beginning of future projects.
“This was the first project out of the gate as far as our parks and what we want to do is help all of our parks become restored,” McQueen said. “We have a number of parks across the city and this is just indicative of what we’re striving to accomplish across the city of Panama City to be the premier city in the panhandle of Florida.”
McQueen said they will hold a grand opening to celebrate the community centerpiece’s restoration.
The playground equipment is on backorder so the community will have to wait a little bit longer to enjoy that aspect of Sudduth Park.