Magic City Acceptance Academy
A new charter school in Homewood, Alabama that provides a brave, LGBTQ-affirming learning environment for students in grades 6–12.
From visioning sessions with prospective students to public hearings, 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 brave, affirming community for LGBTQ youth. The Magic City Acceptance Academy is committed to making a difference in the lives of children who do not thrive 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/multi-purpose building in record time. This 50,000 SF facility can accommodate 400 students and includes classrooms, group learning spaces, a nurse station, a sensory room, and flexible vocation labs that can be adapted to the students’ needs. The design allows daylight to flow through the learning spaces into the corridors and social spaces. Accent colors in the corridors provide wayfinding on each floor, and the open rainbow stair is the school’s central vertical circulation and a symbol of support for the LGBTQ community.