MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB)–Jackson County has been hard at work thinking of ways to repurpose the Dozier School for Boys school grounds. This week, the county gave a working group permission to explore the possibility of creating a Cultural and Heritage Center on the land.
The group hopes to shed light on the area by constructing a cultural center on the grounds. They want residents and tourists to have a new area to explore while making use of unused land.
“They can come in there, they can learn about the infamous Dozier and learn kind of how we’re taking that negative and showing that it wasn’t all bad,” said Christy Andreasen, Executive Director for Jackson County Tourism and Development Council.
While the center may share a look into Dozier’s past, it would mainly focus on Jackson County as a whole.
As the group moves forward with planning, they say they have a lot of things to consider.
“What exactly do we want, what’s our visitor gonna want, what’s the locals gonna want, so we’ve been working on identifying our resources, our needs, our goals, the mission. Figuring out exactly who we’re gonna be,” Andreasen said.
The groups wants the museum to highlight all that the county has been through…which they say is important, especially after this year.
“We’re gonna forever see life as before Michael and after Michael, and that’s not something that you can easily portray I think, it’s a very sensitive subject, but this is a way for the community to be proud of where they’re from,” Andreasen said.
While the project is only in the beginning stages, they hope to soon bring a new aspect of tourism and positivity to the area.