MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — Jackson County commissioners are working on revitalizing the old Dozier School for Boys.
After the state of Florida shut down the school, many buildings were left abandoned. Then Hurricane Michael destroyed a lot of what was left.
“It took out all the electrical poles that were out there and damaged a lot of the old steam tunnels and things like that, that were just sitting there for several years,” Jackson County’s Administrative Services Director Hunter Potts said. “Now we’re trying to put some money into it, develop it, and turn it into something viable for Jackson County.”
The county has a $5.8 mil. grant from the Department of Economic Opportunity.
So far, they’re planning on adding a museum, a community center and a program for autistic adults.
Workers are currently gutting out the building where the autism academy will go, so they’ll start with an in-person, three month pilot program at a different location in Marianna.
“This program is going to give parents and individuals with autism a chance to get the support that they need to be employed and live on their own and be independent,” NextStep Director Tammy Dasher said.
Dasher said they’re anticipating classes to be two days a week.
Eventually it will become a two-year residential program.
The pilot program begins January 24, 2022. Applications are due next Friday, December 17.
For a link to the application, click here.