Mayor Gayle Oberst and the City of Panama City Beach broke ground Thursday for the new Panama City Beach public library. Architectural design by Collins & Associates and construction by the Construct Two Group, the new building will sit on the corner of Hutchinson Boulevard and Lyndell Lane and will be nearly triple the size of the current public library.
Under roof, the new building will house 11,000 square feet and outside will have 240 parking spaces. Panama City Beach Library Branch Manager Frank Walker said, “They’ll be more computers, more shelf space, and a children’s room with children’s programs. We’re thrilled about it.”
Mayor Oberst expects the new library to be a history making event, “Panama City Beach isn’t a very old city,” She said. “A public library builds a history and enriches a community.”
The architectural design went through a few phases before the final decision. With help from the library administrative staff and employees, the new building will have an open space feel, spacing out the shelves to add more walking area. Rooms dedicated to reading, children’s programs and a literacy meeting room will provide additional space for those activities. There will also be more room for books, which means a better overall selection and an upgraded research system.
Although this seems like a large task, the completion date for the new library is set tentatively for February 2010. Charles Lewis, Director of Construction Operations at the Construct Two Group believes that date is reachable. Mr. Lewis said, simply, “That’s more than enough time.” Mayor Oberst is optimistic about the date as well; “By this time next year we’ll be able to walk through the doors of this beautiful new building.”
The new library will cost just over 2 million dollars and was funded by impact fees and donations through donor recognition programs. Construction is set to begin this month.Print Story