By Shelia Mader
The Jackson County School Board combined three schools into one with the opening of the Marianna K8 School. Golson Elementary, Riverside Elementary, and Marianna Middle were all combined into the one school, leaving three campuses vacant. The School Board had opted to deed Golson to Jackson Hospital and Marianna Middle to the City of Marianna. The future of Riverside Elementary, Jackson Alternative School and the Adult Education Program have now been decided.
Superintendent of Schools Steve Benton told the TIMES this week that Hope School will be moving to Riverside Elementary in the fall of 2021. Benton said, “Hope has a really good culinary program that is continuing to grow. The location to Riverside will allow them to practice their talents by preparing meals for people in the community to enjoy.” Benton said work is underway making accommodations necessary for Hope students.
With the present facility where Hope is housed becoming vacant, Jackson Alternative School will move to that location. The final move will be the Adult Education program. They will be moving from their location on Guyton Street to a section of the old Marianna High School. One of the newer additions to the old MHS was the science labs. They are being renovated by the Jackson County Building and Technology Program. Program David Castleberry said his students have gained experience in demotion, completing gutting the two science buildings that will house Adult Ed. Castleberry is excited for his students to get this hands-on experience, “They’ve completely gutted those two buildings and as soon as they are cleared by the asbestos crew, we will be back in there building them out for Adult Ed.” Castleberry said experience such as that can’t be taught in the classroom like it can be experienced actually performing the work in an actually work setting. Benton said once Adult Ed is relocated, the building they now occupy will be up for sale.
Benton said overall these moves will decrease costs to the school board and the three schools that are relocating will be in a better place to handle their needs.
By Shelia Mader