Charter schools have a notoriously difficult time finding facilities, so they take put down in all sorts of incongruous places: churches, office buildings, warehouses. Next up, a former Kmart. This Blue Light Special rang in to the tune of just under $1 million for an 88,000 square-foot store outside of Memphis. “We’re going to bring that building up to first-class status,” croons Reverend Anthony Anderson, founder of Memphis Business Academy, the school that will occupy the space come August 2010. Where shelves of pastel-colored Martha Stewart towels and racks of Jaclyn Smith clothing once enticed frugal shoppers, students will sharpen their minds in state-of-the-art computer labs. With the purchase, the five-year-old school will be able to combine its middle and high school sections in one building and boost total enrollment from 400 to 700 students. Maybe Mr. Bluelight should be the new school mascot.

"Charter school buys old Kmart," by Alex Doniach, Memphis Commercial-Appeal, December 24, 2009

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