JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — After five years of trying, a group in Jackson County finally made some headway on a property for an academy.

Gilmore Academy members proposed a 10-year lease for the old Marianna Middle School building during Tuesday night’s Marianna city commission meeting.

A little over a year ago, the Jackson County school board gave the old Marianna Middle School building to the city of Marianna.

Since then, the city has been in charge of the property’s upkeep.

Now, Gilmore Academy members are trying to lease the property to host youth events.

“There’s youth football that also going to hopefully use some of the buildings to store some of that material and also use some of the grounds for practice,” city commissioner Travis Ephriam said.

The original lease proposal was for ten years. Commissioner John Roberts had the most to say about the proposal.

“This is just saying we turn over a piece of property that the city owns to you for you to use and operate but we’re responsible for all the costs,” Roberts said. “Every bit of the cost is provided: the maintenance, the upkeep, the electricity, the water.”

Roberts motioned for a two-year lease, but residents at the meeting were quick to scoff at the proposal.

They said it’s not enough time to get anything done. Commissioners compromised and approved a five-year lease.

“It’s a blessing to not just the Gilmore Academy and JCTS youth organization and alumni, it’s a blessing to the community and the county,” Jackson County Gilmore Academy President Grady Snell Jr. said.

Snell said after their lease is over, he’s hoping to buy the building.