The Magic City Acceptance Academy is a new charter school in Homewood, Alabama that will provide a LGBTQ-inclusive and affirming learning environment for students in grades 6-12.
Executing the vision of an LGBTQ-inclusive charter school was a labor of love for our team. From the visioning sessions with prospective students to the public hearings via Zoom (during the pandemic), our team supported this project every step of the way. This is not just an adaptive reuse of an abandoned office building – this space was created to provide a safe and affirming community for LGBTQ youth. The Magic City Acceptance Academy is committed to making a difference in the lives of children who have a difficult time in a traditional school setting. Our team worked with the users, developer, general contractor, Magic City Acceptance Center and Birmingham Aids Outreach to design an innovative, efficient school and a new tornado shelter/multipurpose building in record time. This 50,000 SF facility is designed to accommodate 400 students and includes flipped classrooms, group learning spaces and flexible vocation labs that can be adapted to the students’ needs. The interior spaces are designed to allow daylight to flow through the learning spaces into the corridors and social spaces. Accent colors in the corridors provide subtle wayfinding cues on each floor, and the open rainbow stair is the school’s central vertical circulation and a symbol of support for the LGBTQ community.