Panama City Mayor Signs Lease for Second Chance to Move

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PANAMA CITY - Randall Van Nette suffered a brain injury when he was hit by a car at the age of six.

He's been going to Second Chance of Northwest Florida’s programs since 2009.

"The people with problems here. They help each other like you wouldn't believe," said Randall Van Nette, Second Chance Member.

The facility first opened in 1998, in the 200 block of East Beach Drive, and has served dozens of brain injury survivors.

"Good environment, but we are to the point that we need to expand and move into another facility," said Crystal Lykins, Second Chance Instructor. However, it has its drawbacks.

"The Second Chance is currently located down on Beach Drive, on a high traffic area with little parking, little security," said John Kady, Panama City Commissioner.

Thursday morning, program leaders signed a lease with Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki to move into the AD Harris learning village on East 11th Street.

"We are continuing to rent more space out here. So this provides a much safer environment for their patients," said Greg Brudnicki, Panama City Resident.

Second Chance will have about 5,000 square feet in the 5 classrooms they are going to be occupying.

The Bay Medical Foundation is funding their rent through a grant.

"A little every month, we set aside a few dollars to what we call our building fund and never dreaming it would come in this way," said Sherl Morden, Second Chance President.

The deal also helps the Panama City community redevelopment area board, which manages the old AD Harris School and recruits tenants.

"We are going to turn this campus into an asset the community rightfully needs," said William Whitson, Panama City Community Redevelopment Agency Director.