JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Jackson County's history runs deep, and many of the older buildings in the area become hard to maintain with age, like some of the schools in Marianna.
Now a new K-8 school is near completion for Marianna Middle School, Riverside Elementary and Golson Elementary to share. (WJHG/WECP)
"The current facilities are just high maintenance and energy inefficient," said Larry Moore, the superintendent for Jackson County School District.
Now, a new K-8 school is near completion for Marianna Middle School, Riverside Elementary and Golson Elementary to share.
"It is a facility that has over eight acres under roof, it will be a huge facility. There will be almost 1,900 students on that campus," said Moore.
The school will have two principals - Eddie Ellis from Marianna Middle School and Amy Allen from Golson Elementary.
"We're going to make it work, we're going to make it happen," said Allen.
School leaders believe using one location will make life easier for parents and students.
"Having to pick up students at the elementary school, then maybe go to Riverside, and then come to Marianna Middle to pick up if they have three, I think that will help the families also in that when they have to come to the school to meet a teacher or anything, then we're all in one spot," said Ellis.
Educators tell us once they're moved into the new building, the learning opportunities will go beyond just the students.
"It'll also emerge a community of educators together, whereas my kindergarten through eighth grade teachers will now merge as one," said Ellis.
Moore says while a new exciting opportunity is coming, there are still some concerns.
"We're putting a lot of special interests into lunches, feeding that many children in a short period of time is going to be a big challenge and then car riders."
But school leaders say it's nothing they can't handle.
"Will there be some hiccups? Of course. But embracing all of that, we think in the long run this is going to be an outstanding opportunity for our students educationally and an outstanding opportunity for our teachers to come closer together," said Ellis.
The facility will be ready for the first day of the school year on August 10.
School officials tell us Golson Elementary's building will become property of Jackson Hospital and Riverside will be repurposed, potentially for an alternative and special needs school.
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