New charter school proposed for North Meridian Street

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An Arizona-based charter school operator serving middle- and high-school students has filed plans to build a two-story school at 22nd and Meridian streets.

Carpe Diem Schools hopes to open the 18,600-square-foot building with nine classrooms, administrative offices and 300 "technology booths" by August, in time for the next school year.

But first the proposal must clear city zoning and design hurdles. A rezoning hearing is scheduled for May 16, and a regional center design review is set for June 14.

As proposed, the building looks more like a warehouse than a school, with pre-cast panels dominating the exterior. Planners have asked for aesthetic changes to give the building urban character.

Carpe Diem schoolCity planners have asked for aesthetic changes to the school building to be constructed at 22nd and Meridian streets. (Image: Carpe Diem Schools)

"Based on the city's feedback, we are in the process of making modifications," Rick Ogston, CEO of Carpe Diem Schools, said in a statement. "We have and want to maintain a positive relationship with the city and will do what's necessary to keep the project progressing."

They still hope to open the school in time for the 2012-2013 school year.

The roughly one-acre site is owned by an affiliate of Sandor Development, which once planned to build a new headquarters on the property. The developer eventually moved to Carmel instead, leaving behind its former headquarters next door, at 2220 N. Meridian St. That building remains vacant.

Charter Schools Development Corp. of Maryland has put the property under contract and plans to build the school under a lease-to-own arrangement with Carpe Diem.

The Carpe Diem Collegiate High School, with a capacity of 273 students, would follow a model developed in Yuma, Ariz., that combines computer-assisted instruction with on-site teachers. It would serve students in grades 6 through 12.

The group also is offering a purely online schooling option statewide.

The Indiana Charter School Board last year approved six Carpe Diem schools, although the company plans to assess results at the Indianapolis location before proceeding with other sites.

Carpe Diem was the first charter operator to win approval from the state board, run by the Department of Education and created by an education reform bill signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels in May 2011.


  • Nope.

    there is no better rendering. This looks bad because it is. Plain and simple. This is why neighborhood orgs and the city have requested a redesign.
  • new charter
    Perhaps there is a better rendering somewhere that doesn't make the bldg. look so flat and red!.I agree that there are many schools in the neighoring area but are they going to provide something that the others don't? St. Richards is great but it only goes through grade 8.Most St. Richards kids then go to other schools i.e. Brebuf $$$
    • Architect?
      These spaces don't require an architect, but a professional panel arranger and it shows!
    • Who did it???
      Who was the Architect for this. Meridian Street is an Important part of our city. This Architect, if there is one, should have his privileges removed.
      • Why?
        Is this Charter school necessary? If parents do their homework they will find several quality choices of schools in this part of the city like St.Richards, The Oaks Academy, Herron High School, Crispus Attucks, and Shortridge. The tax payers have invested millions of dollars to Ips for improvemnets. More is not always better.
      • Design
        Are you sure this is the not a basement with the dirt removed?
      • Spelling

        Comming is actually spelled coming.
      • There are Midtown school options today
        Midtown has a terrific school. St. Richard's School, at 33rd and Meridian, is an independent Episcopal day school educating children (for the last 50 years) from pre-school to the eighth grade. It has a foundation in classic English educational disciplines, a global perspective and a spiritual, inclusive culture.
        • charter schol
          Exactly, how many charter schools does Indianapolis need? Most of the one's we have are showing no improvement in the children. What I see comming from those schools are disrespectful juveniles. Is this one going to be some kind of exception?
          • Privateers Smell Money
            This is not good news for Indianapolis. These out of state privateers smell money and a lot of it, or they wouldn't come here. How can privateers make a profit and still provide quality education? They can't. It's all about the money, and it's wrong.
          • Make an Impact
            We are thrilled to have another positive school experience located near downtown, but make the design one that connects to the community. Meridian is our major gateway and the buildings should reflect this. They did many years ago and should now!

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