An abandoned industrial complex on the east side of Indianapolis will be the home of Purdue University’s STEM-focused charter school scheduled to open next year. The university has also announced a partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools in hopes of attracting a diverse student body to Purdue Polytechnic High School. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says the school will spark an "economic transformation" on the east side, expecting it to bring residential, commercial and retail development to the area.
The school will be in the former PR Mallory building, which is owned by the city. Hogsett says merchants in the area "could not be more thrilled" that an abandoned complex will turn into an economic catalyst.
Purdue Polytechnic will be an IPS Innovation Network School. Purdue President Mitch Daniels tells Inside INdiana Business "we couldn’t do this without IPS," saying money that would normally go to a student’s original school will follow him or her to Purdue Polytechnic. In exchange, student results at the school will count toward IPS’s overall evaluations.
"For this freshman class, we were only able to admit 26 students from the entire IPS system," says Daniels. "That’s unacceptable and someone has to find a way to do better. We thank IPS and the city for this unique partnership, which we hope will build a new pathway to Purdue and to successful careers for future students from downtown Indianapolis."
Applications are open for the school’s first students, who will be ninth-graders in fall 2017. The school will house 150 students in its first year, with a new freshman class added each year for a total enrollment of 600 in grades 9-12. Daniels says students who live in IPS boundaries will be given preference.
Scott Bess will lead the school and Shatoya Jordan will serve as principal. The university says the process to hire teachers is underway.