February 16, 2017

Purdue announces temporary home for its Indy STEM-focused high school

Building update Union 525

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue Polytechnic High School Indianapolis on Thursday (Feb. 16) announced the building that formerly housed Manual and Wood high schools, at 525 S. Meridian St., will serve as the temporary location to welcome its first incoming class of students for the 2017-18 school year.

Now called Union 525, the building houses tech companies, making it a fitting launch pad for the STEM-focused charter high school. Dedicated in 1895 as the Industrial Training School, the facility was renamed the Manual Training School and then the Wood Vocational Training School. In 1984 the school was converted into an office building by Brougher Insurance Group and then was owned and occupied by Eli Lilly from 2000-2015.

“This will be a tremendous location for us to begin our exciting work,” said Scott Bess, head of the Polytechnic High School. “We were able to find a downtown site that meets all of our needs and that has such a rich history in preparing students through technical and STEM-related education.”

Old school The building formerly housed Manual and Wood high schools.

The downtown location is close to the high school’s industry partners, who are heavily engaged in curriculum design, project development, skill instruction and evaluation of student work in addition to providing mentorships and internships.

The application period for the upcoming school year closed on Feb. 3. Bess said the number of applications outpaced the available 150 slots; applicants in the IPS attendance zone were given priority admission status. A lottery on Feb. 8 determined admission offers for the remaining slots. Enrollment forms for those offered admission must be complete by March 1, and by late spring school officials will have final enrollment information compiled for the incoming class.

In addition to Bess, school leadership includes Susie Howard, director of high school initiatives, and Shatoya Jordan, principal.

Purdue Polytechnic High School Indianapolis, which was originally announced in June 2015, was created through the vision of leaders at Purdue University and the city of Indianapolis and the support of Indianapolis Public Schools and several community and industry partners. The school offers a strong foundation in personalized learning, project- and problem-based design thinking, academic preparation for rigorous careers and college, career pathways through industry partnerships, and supportive relationships with staff and industry mentors. PPHS is designed to position students, particularly low-income, underrepresented minorities who are not currently preparing for post-secondary education, to take advantage of opportunities to succeed in technical, STEM-related careers.

Purdue Polytechnic High School students who meet Purdue University admission criteria will have direct admittance to the Purdue Polytechnic Institute in West Lafayette. 

Source: Scott Bess, sbess@purdue.edu

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