PANAMA CITY — When the pink coating went up on the new Panama City City Hall on Harrison Avenue, the general consensus was the building wasn’t pretty in pink.
But the good news is the coloring
was always temporary, and crews are now covering up the Pepto Bismol-esque hue
with a far more stately brick.
In January, the commission opted to spend $850,000 for a new brick facade after consultants on the project informed them the building’s original brickwork — that had been covered for years with damaged stucco — wasn’t waterproof any more.
While the work wasn’t part of the original budget, the pink coating was a necessary step to solve the problem, said ZHA senior project manager David Scruggs.
“The ‘pink stuff’ is part of the building envelope, which prevents moisture from getting into the building,” he said. “This is normal construction methods.”
In the time between the
application of the pink coating and brick facade, work crews had to fabricate
and install the steel frames for the windows, install the windows, demolish the
walkway, and pour the brick footer, Scruggs said, accounting for the weeks of
The new facade, Scruggs said, should be finished by the end of August and currently is within the $850,000 budget. The overall budget for the project is at $16.1 million, including a recent change order for more than $700,000 to repair the leaking roof after a warranty wasn’t honored. The project has far exceeded initial cost estimates.
Once the facade and roof work is
done, Scruggs said the canopy on the exterior of the building will need to be
installed, the new walkway poured, lighting installed, landscaping done and the
site cleaned up.
After all that is done, the
fencing around the property and sidewalk at 501 Harrison Ave. will come down.
The anticipated completion date
for the whole project is Oct. 31, and Scruggs said crews are on track. However,
city workers already have moved out of the former city hall at 9 Harrison Ave.,
as part of a plan between several county agencies to keep the federal
courthouse in Panama City that required staff to be out by early summer.
City services are temporarily
located at the A.D. Learning Center, 819 E. 11th St. Meetings are at the Bay
County Government Center from now on, as the new city hall will not have a