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Panama City city leaders look to get funding to reconstruct Marina Civic Center

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 3:02 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Downtown Panama City Marina Civic Center was extremely damaged from Hurricane Michael. Since the storm, the landmark has sat vacant with no progress on reconstruction.

Hopefully, that is about to change.

The Panama City Commission has approved Nova Engineering to perform a hurricane simulator test on the building. This test will recreate the exact weather conditions the building experienced during the storm. This will cost the city $144,100.

This test would prove that the civic center is more than 50% damaged, which FEMA claims it is not.

If the test proves over 50% damage, the civic center would be entitled to a FEMA grant equal to the cost to replace.

That would be a roughly $30 million grant.

“The Civic Center is an important asset to the city to Panama City and the art community,” Mark McQueen, Panama City City Manager, said. “We think this test is very important to be able to ensure that we are in the strongest position to make our appeal to FEMA to make sure we get every dollar the city should get for this project.”

This test will take place on Thursday. The boat ramp will be closed Wednesday at 8 p.m. and will remain closed until 5 p.m. on Thursday. The city asks the public to please avoid this area during those times due to loud noise and possible flying debris.

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