New Beginnings in Store for Old Bascom School

By: Bryan Anderson
By: Bryan Anderson

Marianna, FL- The old Bascom School in Jackson County has been around since 1927. It was converted to a town hall in the 1960s before shutting down 35 years later. But in the last year or so, a group of Jackson County residents has come together hoping to bring new life to the run-down structure.

"The building's sound and it's got plenty of life left in it," said Bascom School Renovation Committee Member John Alter.

Alter said they plan to add rentable office space, refurbish the stage, and one day add a museum. However, a year into the renovation, they're struggling to make much progress.

"Funding is always the challenge," said Alter.

And it's not just money that's the problem. The group has had to go back and correct come construction projects, like the roof on an addition to the building, that weren't necessarily done correctly.

On top of that, Bascom resident John Grant, who was also the project's original contractor, died in a car accident last year.

"Anytime you lose a good friend, it's a tragedy," said Alter.

Despite the setbacks, volunteers said they're not giving up and hope to have the building up and running by 2013.

"I think it would mean a tremendous amount to all the citizens, not only in Bascom but in the whole Northeast Jackson County area," said Alter.

The project is expected the cost $370 thousand. The Bascom School Renovation Committee said it's raised around $30 thousand so far, and said it should know by December if it'll receive a $400 thousand dollar federal grant.

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