The oldest public school building in Alabama may be getting a facelift soon, thanks to a grant received by the foundation that cares for the school.
Al.com reports the Barton Academy Foundation was awarded $1.25 million through a challenge grant from the Ben May Charitable Trust. The gift is the largest so far toward the foundation’s $12 million dollar goal needed to restore the historic Barton Academy and create the Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies. The academy would serve students in grades 6 through 12 and specialize in global commerce, international relations and foreign language skills.
The Barton Academy Foundation hopes to update the building’s interior by coordinating with Mobile County Public Schools to secure funding from private, business and foundation sources. The county system recently completed a $4.2 million project to renovate the exterior of Barton and another area school.
Barton Academy was originally constructed in Mobile in 1836 and is the oldest public school building in the state. It was added to the National Register for Historic Places in 1970.