Marianna K-8 School construction date pushed back

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MARIANNA, FL -- (WTVY) Construction on the new Marianna K-8 School was scheduled to start in the spring, but that has now changed.

The $57 million price tag for the school is being paid for primarily by the state, which has affected construction.

A groundbreaking took place for the new school in October, with plans to begin construction in April. Superintendent Larry Moore said that date has now been pushed back to June.

"No work is going on at the site currently," Moore said. "I just wanted the public to be aware of this process."

Jackson County School Board Director of Facilities Stuart Wiggins said the way state funds are allocated, it was necessary to delay construction.

"If you start it too soon, you may run out of work before the third payment, so there would be an actual stoppage of work," Wiggins said.

Wiggins said that could end up costing the district money.

The cost of construction has gone up 18 to 24 percent over the last three years.

"We removed pieces that were unneccessary, things that we would have liked to have had, but that we could get by without," Wiggins said.

The next step was to redesign parts of the building to further lower costs, while still ensuring a safe, state-of-the-art facility.

Soon after the announcement of the school's location, there was concern over sinkholes located on the school's site.

Environmental reports came back showing the school could still be built in the same spot, but Wiggins said they are taking extra precautions.

"We have decided to shift the school slightly to the east, so there will be no structures over the sinkhole area," Wiggins said.

District officials said the completion date is still May of 2020.

They said they've already factored in the average rain days, but that shouldn't have an effect on the school's completion.

Officials said the May 2020 completion date will give them plenty of time to move everything in before school starts in August.