PANAMA CITY BEACH — A “transformational” project to expand a popular sports complex is gaining serious momentum. 

According to Dan Rowe, president and CEO of Visit Panama City Beach, local officials approved last week a plan for Lose Design, an engineering firm with offices in Tennessee, Georgia and Colorado, to design two new buildings slated for construction at the Panama City Beach Sports Complex. 

One is an indoor sports center that will span 100,000 square feet and include eight basketball courts, an emergency operations center and safe room. The other is a 17,000-square-foot building that will offer additional space for offices, meetings and events. 

“It’s been gaining momentum for a long time, but we’re now getting (close),” Rowe said of the project. “It will be a game changer for us.”

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Because the indoor sports center will act as an extension of the Bay County Emergency Operations Center, the Federal Emergency Management Agency contributed about $7.7 million to help fund its design and construction.