New Jackson County School Gets Board Approval

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JACKSON COUNTY Jackson School District officials have the plans for a new k through eight schools. They also have the land. All they need now is the money.

Architects presented Jackson County School Board members with the plans for a new k through eight school Wednesday night. They say this new school will allow them to consolidate three old schools, Golson and Riverside Elementarys and Marianna Middle School, into one campus.

Apparently school district officials like what they've seen.

"My main concern everyday as superintendent is to know our children are safe and I feel like this will be one of the safest schools in Jackson County,” said Superintendent Steve Benton. “When you got an 8 foot chain-link fence all the way around it. You know, I would feel good about the safety of our children."

The school will be built on the northwest corner of Caverns Road. It will be about 400,000 square feet, with 893 doors, and the cafeteria will have nearly 1,100 seats."

With plans in-place and land secured, school district officials are now after the money to build the facility.

'Special facilities funding, if we get approved. This is something that the legislature and the governor's office set up to where small districts who do not have the tax base as larger districts. This school in the neighborhood of $60 million," explained Benton.

Benton says the district will pay for $8 million of that cost out of half cent sales tax revenues.

If the state approves the project, it will put the district in a better position to improve other school facilities outside of Marianna.

"It will loosen up money to spend on the outside schools. Right now we have very little facilities and maintenance funds, but this will be best for the whole county in the long run," he said.

School board members plan to present the proposal to the department of education in august.