MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — In tonight’s What’s Working, a rundown landmark in downtown Mobile has been transformed into a crown jewel in the Port City.
It just reopened as Mobile County’s newest magnet school after a multi-million dollar renovation. It’s now called 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. The last time students walked these halls was in the 1960s.
These students are happy to have the opportunity to learn in this historic building in the heart of downtown Mobile.
“It’s been phenomenal. Our teachers are great, and our peers are really great,” 9th grader, Kayden Crittenden said.
“The history can be felt throughout this building. When we went up to the Barton Dome to get our blazers, and it was like walking in history. You feel like you are walking in the footsteps of explorers before you,” 9th grader Graham Foster said.
Principal Amanda Jones says they are taking a new approach to learning.
“One of our emphasis is on project-based learning. The students are interested in interconnecting subjects, very hands-on learning, and that makes us unique,” Dr. Jones said.
The Barton Academy Foundation spent years raising $14 million on funds to renovate the inside of the building. The Mobile County Public School System paid for the exterior renovation.