Dozier School for Boys Land Up for Grabs
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice said
Thursday it plans to turn over the Dozier School for
Boys in the next few days to the Florida Department
of Environmental Protection's Division of State
Posted: 9:31 PM Aug 4, 2011
Reporter: Bryan Anderson
Marianna, FL- The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice said Thursday it plans to turn over the Dozier School for
Boys in the next few days to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Division of State Lands.
Since the state closed Dozier last month, local government leaders have been lobbying to take over the campus and
the surrounding 1,300 acres.
Many believe it could be a valuable asset to the community.
"There's many things that could be used for the land. It could be used for the community center," said Marianna
resident Sherry Lynn Oconnor.
But state law dictates how agencies dispose of surplus property. Once the campus is turned over to the Division of
State Lands, it'll be offered to other state agencies, public universities, and community colleges first. If nobody's
interested, it goes to local governments.
Jackson County community leaders are very interested.
"I can safely say that we have expressed our interest in having the state of Florida convey that property to the
county, the city, and the school board," said Marianna City Manager Jim Dean.
Earlier this week, Marianna City Commissioners voted to ask the state for several Dozier vehicles and some
recreational equipment, but it's not clear if those items are subject to the same process.
Another idea is to move the Jackson Alternative School across the street to Dozier's campus. That's one of the
many plans Jackson County School Superintendent Lee Miller is considering.
Until the issue is settled, the vacant land serves as a grim monument to better economic times.
"It's a very sad reminder that there are people that have lost their jobs. There's people in this area that have
suffered economically due to Dozier closing," said Oconnor.
Department of Juvenile Justice officials said the land could be leased by the end of this year.