Purdue Polytechnic Charter School and Farm 360

Total Project Budget: 
New Markets Investment:
Catalytic Impact:
Closed: July 2020

The long vacant and historic Mallory building on E. Washington Street in the Promise Zone was redeveloped as Purdue Polytechnic, a STEM-focused charter school designed as a pathway to college. The 125,000 SF building, built in 1921 by General Electric, will be completely renovated to accommodate total enrollment of 600 in grades 9-12. Students who live in the surrounding severely distressed neighborhood will have first preference for spaces. The community is 45% African American and Hispanic with 39% poverty; up from 26% poverty 3 years ago. Median incomes are at 42% of AMI, and unemployment is 2.4 x the national rate.

High school graduation rates in area schools are below state and city levels; and even more alarming is the area’s low rank of 71 out of 100 for quality of education. Englewood CDC and the John Boner Community Center, which coordinates implementation of Promise Zone goals, took over the $37.5MM project when the school district concluded it was too costly. Plans call for renovating 8,000 SF of buildings for Farm 360, a hydroponic farm operated by Englewood CDC to help local residents access fresh produce. IRCDE will provide $18MM QEI, co-allocate $7MM QEI and the project will access $12.5MM in historic tax credits. The land and buildings have been donated and the CE is providing a $550,00 grant to remediate Brownfield contamination.