FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) – It’s seen better days, but thanks to a $2.5 million Economic Development Administration grant plans to renovate the Fairhope K-1 Center are coming to life.

“Just really excited yesterday when we got the notice of funding and got the award,” said Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan on Thursday.

The city purchased the campus from the Baldwin County Public School System in 2018 and since then agreed to lease part of the space to FEEF, the Fairhope Educational Enrichment Foundation, which will provide a hands-on learning experience for students of all ages, but that’s not all.

“The plan right now is to take the back part of that campus and turn it into a performing arts center, so we’ll have all of that right there on one campus. Right there in downtown,” added Sullivan.

Hatch Fairhope will also utilize part of the campus to give new and existing technology-based entrepreneurs in Baldwin County a place to learn and grow their business. Mayor Sullivan says the move will keep education and research as the K-1 Center’s main focus once renovations are complete.

“It’s going to bring economic development and bring some jobs to the area and allow those people who are interested in some startup companies the opportunity to be able to do that,” she explained.

The Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance has partnered with the project with plans to open the new campus in 2024. Construction could start later this year or in early 2023.

Stay ahead of the biggest stories, breaking news and weather in Mobile, Pensacola and across the Gulf Coast and Alabama. Download the WKRG News 5 news app and be sure to turn on push alerts.