Jackson County is home to five state prisons. Monday morning community leaders officially broke ground on the sixth.
Although construction has been underway for some time, it wasn't until the governor signed the state budget a few weeks ago that the money to build this new prison was secured.
The prison will cost nearly $70 million. It will create more than 300 new jobs with an annual payroll of at least $13 million. The total economic impact on the Graceville area is estimated to be $60 to $70 million a year.
Gary Clark of West Florida Electric Cooperative is one of the community leaders working hard on the project.
"We've been working on this for about 10 years now. West Florida Electric, in cooperation with the city and the county, have been really striving to acquire a new facility and bring some jobs into this community," he says.
The new prison is scheduled to open by the beginning of 2008.