MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — In tonight’s What’s Working, a landmark in downtown Mobile is being transformed into Mobile County’s newest magnet school for students in the sixth through ninth grades. Applications are now being accepted for The Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies. Built in the 1800s, the Greek-Revival-Style building was the first public school in Alabama. It was last occupied by School System Central Office over a decade ago.
After an $18 million makeover, the landmark building will awake from its slumber this summer, when students walk through the halls. Dr. Amanda Jones is the principal of the new magnet school. The curriculum is focused on international studies.
“It gives us an opportunity to connect with our businesses, for our students to learn more about our port which has been here for 300 years. That is where we can really tie in the international studies,” Jones said.
The Barton Academy Foundation has spent years raising $14 million on funds to renovate the inside of the building. John Peebles was responsible for leading the fundraising effort.
“We are taking the interior of a 19th-century building and moving it into a 21st Century Middle School. This is an important piece of downtown Mobile and to bring the vitality of an educational institution into this inner city. That has a huge effect,” Peebles said.
Students in grades 6-9 will be chosen through a lottery system to attend The Barton Academy of Advanced World Studies, but no doubt they will hit the lottery if they are accepted.
If you would like information on how to apply, click here. Applications are due December 4th.