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Charter school in Indianapolis seeks permanent home in former district high school

Oct. 10, 2022
Purdue Polytechnic High already occupies part of the former Broad Ripple High, which the Indianapolis district closed in 2018.

Purdue Polytechnic High School, a charter school in Indianapolis, Ind., is working to make the former Broad Ripple High School its permanent home through a partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools.

Chalkbeat Indiana reports that the school’s change in plans comes as the Indianapolis district considers a plan to close seven schools and reconfigure grade levels throughout the district. 

Under the plan, old Broad Ripple High School campus would house a new Broad Ripple Middle School with International Baccalaureate programming. If Purdue Polytechnic reaches a deal with the district, the charter high school also would make its permanent home in the former high school building.

Such an arrangement would provide a solution to the long-standing issue of what to do with the high school, which closed in 2018. 

Purdue Polytechnic, a charter school that has two campuses in Indianapolis, already occupies parts of the third floor of Broad Ripple High.

Scott Bess, executive director of Purdue Polytechnic High School, says that staying in Broad Ripple High School would enable the school to grow even more. Its plan to occupy part of a mixed-use building on College Avenue would have limited the school to just 400 students. Staying in the Broad Ripple building would enable the campus to grow to roughly 550 to 600 students. 

The 16-acre Broad Ripple campus has been considered one of the district’s most attractive real estate assets that could bring significant funds to the district if sold.

But state law requires the district to offer vacant schools to charter schools for a lease or purchase price of $1 before selling them on the open market.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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