Marianna Shelter

The new Marianna High School is scheduled to open for classes in August, but next week it will serve an entirely different purpose.

State and federal officials say the school will be used as an emergency shelter.

The 20-million dollar Marianna High School took a year longer to complete, but school and emergency management officials say it will open just in the nick of time.

With Hurricane Dennis gaining strength, the school is ready to serve as a shelter.

After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, state officials mandated that new schools be built to withstand at least 155 mile per hour winds.

Marianna High School is now the only certified shelter in Jackson County.