Building a Legacy

Single-gender schools can have a positive impact in all subject areas, resulting in more ambitious career aspirations, higher graduation rates and increased college attendance. These conclusions by the U.S. Department of Education and other respected sources aligned with the goals of Atlanta Public Schools (APS). Therefore, to improve educational opportunities for young men in Atlanta, APS initiated its own single-gender school: the Business, Engineering, Science & Technology (BEST) Academy.

BEST began with a class of sixth-grade boys in a historically underserved section of Atlanta. Their goal was to provide a rigorous college preparatory curriculum in a supportive learning environment that would eventually include grades six through twelve. Initial results were so positive, the school soon required a new facility to meet demand.

APS envisioned opening the new academy on a highly accelerated schedule. When Barton Malow assumed the project, it was three months behind and $2 million over budget. According to at least one outside assessment, the schedule was unattainable.

While architect Stanley Love-Stanley began overhauling the design, Barton Malow began working 10-hour shifts, six days a week to reinstate the timeline, managing upwards of 300 workers at once to maintain the critical path. In the end, Barton Malow overcame schedule and budget deficits, design changes and severe-weather delays to ensure BEST Academy would open its doors to students on time.

The impact of schools like BEST Academy will be felt by the City of Atlanta for generations. The entire community will benefit from the Academy’s commitment to building future leaders. Barton Malow is honored to be a part of this legacy.