Jackson County K-8 School groundbreaking

MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Several hundred people turned out Thursday afternoon for the official groundbreaking of the Jackson County K-8 School in Marianna.

Some of those in attendance included local leaders, as well as Senator George Gainer and Representative Brad Drake.

"Three years ago we made application for these funds and we've been put in the back of the line, but our time has finally come," Director of Facilities Stuart Wiggins said. "This is a great day for us and the citizens of Jackson County and the students who are going to walk these halls in a few short months."

Superintendent Larry Moore said if the school opened today, it would hold 1,950 students, making it the largest in Jackson County.

"The playing field of a football field is just a little bigger than an acre," Moore said. "If you can imagine eight football fields under roof, that's what this site will be."

Golson Elementary, Riverside Elementary, and Marianna Middle will all close when the new school opens.

"This will be a great place," Moore said. "It's just a new chapter in the history of Jackson County and Jackson County's education."

Moore said that while leaving behind the other schools is bittersweet, the people make the memories. He said when the school doors open in 2020, a new crop of students will have their chance to make memories.

Culpepper Construction will be the school's construction management team.

Construction is expected to start in April.