Jackson County leaders break ground on new Innovation and Career Academy

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HOLLYWOOD, Ala.- State leaders joined Jackson County community and school board officials in Hollywood Friday morning to break ground on the school district’s new Innovation and Career Academy.

It was an emotional day for Jackson County Board of Education superintendent Kevin Dukes.

“I get a little choked about it because it’s awesome. (It’s a) Chance to benefit our students and county for years to come,” said Dukes through tears.

Dukes said the 66,0000-square-foot building will benefit all Jackson County students as it offers opportunities their home schools might not have.

“Jackson County students will be on a level playing field for scholarships and jobs that have never been available to them before,” added Dukes.

Some of the things that will be taught at the facility include agricultural science, AP computer science, building construction, collision repair and cosmetology.

The academy sits at the entrance of the Jackson County Industrial Park. The location itself is a big benefit because it will help connect students with potential employers.

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-5th District, said this facility is a game changer when it comes to preparing students for the workforce.

Alabama Board of Education superintendent Eric Mackey said they fully support the facility.

“Your state department of education will continue to stand behind you and your building programs, as you come and say ‘hey we want to add this, we want to add that, we want to do more,’ we’re going to find ways to help you fund those through state funds and federal funds and grants,” explained Mackey.

The academy will also have a performing arts center that will seat 750 people.

The project is expected to be ready for use in Fall 2022.

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