top of page

University Academy Charter School

Panama City, Florida

University Academy_Florida_adaptive reuse_exterior

After the new airport in Panama City opened, the former airport property was acquired for the development of the new community, SweetBay. The 704-acre site includes homes, commercial space, parks, lakes and an abundance of green space. When growth of this volume happens, so too does the need for additional schools. University Academy, a charter school, was the first to open.


This adaptive reuse project transformed an abandoned airport terminal and renovated it to house a 68,000-square-foot charter school for 500 students, pre-K through third grade. A second phase adds more classrooms, a gymnasium and athletic fields to extend learning to the fifth grade. Among the challenges faced by the design team were converting the large amount of high-ceilinged interior public space into more intimate settings as required for elementary education.

University Academy_Florida_adaptive reuse_exterior
University Academy_Florida_adaptive reuse_atrium
University Academy_Florida_adaptive reuse_interior learning space
University Academy_Florida_adaptive reuse_interior architecture
University Academy_Florida_adaptive reuse_night
bottom of page