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2022 Non-Residential Development that Overcame Significant Obstacles

Barton Academy for Advanced World Cities

Developer: Barton Academy Foundation
Location: Mobile, Alabama

The first public school building in Alabama is now the Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies, thanks to $4.3 million in HTC equity from U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp. Built in 1836 as the first school building for the first public school system in Alabama, the Mobile, Alabama, property operated as a school until being converted to the headquarters of the Mobile County Public Schools in the 1960s. It had been vacant since 2007 before being transformed by the Barton Academy Foundation.

The school’s doors reopened in August 2021 as a model for 21st century learning with a focus on global studies and entrepreneurship, taught through a project-based curricular approach. The Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies’ curriculum includes courses with a focus on global studies, world languages, entrepreneurship and fine arts to enhance the advanced core course offerings. Barton houses numerous innovative labs including collaborative,
emerging technologies, and STEM among many additional experiences to prepare students. Without the HTC equity, the development would not only have lost the $4.3 million in equity, but grants and donations, new markets tax credit equity and financing from Alabama Saves, a publicly funded loan program for energy efficient construction and renovations.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the development was completed on time and on budget and opened in fall 2021. It brought the long-vacant school property back to life and catalyzed additional development in downtown Mobile.

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