The Purdue Polytechnic High School is celebrating its new, permanent Indianapolis location. Purdue University President Mitch Daniels and Indy Mayor Joe Hogsett marked the opening of the campus in the former PR Mallory Building during an event Monday.
The STEM-focused school’s new home is a renovated industrial building on the east side of Indianapolis. Scott Bess, head of the Purdue Polytechnic High School, said the charter school now has a home it can be proud of.
“When we selected the PR Mallory campus as our permanent home several years ago, we knew it would be a long journey to get to where we stand today,” said Bess. “Frankly, it was a leap of faith then that a long abandoned, neglected building could be turned into an asset to the community.”
The university says tuition-free, public charter school focuses on providing underrepresented students authentic STEM-focused experiences that prepare them for a successful future. There are now three Purdue Polytechnic high schools across central and northern Indiana.
“We have always said we wanted to not just be in a community, but to be part of the community,” Bess said. “Our students now have direct connections for their project work that can simultaneously benefit their education and the community.”
Students previously studied in an old factory location their first year and spent the last two years in a downtown Indianapolis location at the Circle Centre Mall.
Brooke Huntington, assistant dean of engagement, statewide and workforce development for the institute, said Purdue worked with the Englewood Community Development Corp., the John H. Boner Center, the city of Indianapolis, The Mind Trust, and the school’s co-tenants, Paramount Schools.
The cooperative effort pooled $38 million in funding for the redevelopment of the building, which has served as a home for the Indianapolis Indians baseball team, the site of Wonderland Amusement Park and battery factory location for longtime eastside employer, P.R. Mallory and Co. Inc.
The site includes a main 120,000-square-foot administration building for Purdue Polytechnic High School and the Paramount School of Excellence. The campus also includes a secondary, 70,000-square-foot building for for-profit tenants.