JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Construction is wrapping up at a new charter school in Northwest Jacksonville expected to make a huge impact for young men.
Dozens of crews are working around the clock to finish remodeling Valor Academy of Leadership on Soutel Drive. Twelve classrooms including a lab will be filled each with roughly 23 students starting August 18.
The school was originally only going to teach sixth and ninth grade, but added seventh grade after many parents requested it. The school will be the first single-gender college preparatory school for males in Jacksonville.
"Working with single gender males is very special to me as a father of sons," said Principal of the school, John Taylor.
Taylor says this school is special because leaders and community members in Duval County asked for it after noticing a need.
Mary Williams just moved to Jacksonville with her family from Virginia. Her boys were initially registered at Highlands Middle School in the same area.
"We have gone through public schools, they have gotten into their share of trouble a lot of times," said Williams.
She was concerned after seeing Highlands' preliminary 2014 school grade is an "F," according to the Florida Department of Education, but then she found out about Valor Academy of Leadership.
"It focuses on the male and I know not just here within the Duval area but all around that there is a high dropout rate for male students, primarily African Americans," added Williams.
Director of Operations for Profectus Learning Systems Cal Walton says they've been rebuilding and remodeling for six weeks and the school will be equipped with everything the students will need to succeed in the classroom.
"We'll have the smart boards and all of the technology required in a modern day classroom in each classroom," said Walton.
From the main building, to the outside module classrooms, there's two and half acres, but behind the school there's room for growth.
"We have seven and a half, almost eight acres to work with to expand," added Walton.
Williams says she can't wait to let her boys know where they are going to school.
Valor Academy of Leadership is still accepting students for this fall. You can register online by clicking here or call 904.469.8195.
On Saturday July 19 the school will be hosting a family barbecue at Jenkins BAR-B-Q from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. There will be games and prizes. It will also be a chance for parents to learn about enrollment opportunities and meet the leadership team and teachers at Valor Academy of Leadership.