FAYETTEVILLE -- The Capitol building in downtown Fayetteville is one that is very recognizable by residents and visitors. It has sat vacant since 2010 waiting for the next big idea on how this historic building could be used.
"How exciting would it be to see children going in, carrying their instruments in the Capitol Building to start their school day there,” said Linda Huff, president, H&H Homes.
That is the vision from six board members who have been preliminarily approved to use the space for a charter school, Capitol Encore Academy. The academy would start with grades K through 5 and enroll 260 students in the first year. It would focus on music, theater and the arts as a whole.
"In the arts, which I taught for approximately 15 years, I found that sometimes students flourished more so in the arts than in academics, and those students that flourished in the arts, all of that related in with academics, and they excelled even further,” said Huff.
Alpha Academy has been open since 2000. They are the only charter school in Cumberland County. Superintendent Eugene Slocum says although they are not a private institution, they are unique to education.
"It's about communication. It's about parents being involved. It's about people working together, and I think that from that aspect, if we are all in it for the kids, if we do that, it should not be which one is better. It's for the parents themselves, giving them that opportunity,” said Eugene Slocum, superintendent for Alpha Academy.
It is an opportunity that those behind Capitol Encore Academy hopes to bring to children in Fayetteville.
"The streets that even Lafayette came over, and there is so much history there. You have the Cameo there. You can walk around the Markethouse, all of the history there. I think children need to understand the history right downtown,” said Huff.
The final approval is expected in January.