Jackson County students don't head back to class until Monday. When Marianna High convenes, it will be in a brand new building.
Students will begin to experience the new sensation first thing Monday morning when the new Marianna High School cafeteria opens for breakfast.
Melinda Blechinger, a parent, says, "It's nicer and much cleaner. It's easier to get around. The kids love it."
Over 300 people showed up Friday to get a sneak preview of the new school. The first thing everyone notices is the size.
Superintendent Danny Sims says students should take about a
“One hundred seventy seven square feet on a 60-acre piece of property, and it takes a walk to get from end to end," he says.
The school has space for 1,000 student work stations. That's 100 more than before. Networking capability creates the ability to put 10 computers in every classroom, and the new auditorium features over 3,500 different lighting sequences.
Pettie Sims, Principal, says, “Chipola has a wonderful theater department. We see this as a natural tie in there so that we have students that come here and learn to do the technical end of it and the theatrics."
School Board members say the new school will have an impact beyond education.
Kenny Griffin says, "This school will have a tremendous impact on our community as we try to constantly recruit new business to come into our area. This is really a focal point when you bring people into look."
Some students are already aquatinted with new campus. The football team and marching band attended practice session over the summer. The new Marianna High School was used as a hurricane shelter during Hurricane Dennis. It's the only certified shelter in Jackson County.