Private school moving to Lockerbie

March 2, 2009
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Todd AcademyThe private Todd Academy plans to move into a historic building at the northwest corner of East and New York streets in Lockerbie Square. The building is owned by locally based Axia Urban, which also is developing the Landmark at Lockerbie condo building in the 200 block of East Street. Locally based Acorn Group Inc. brokered the lease deal. Property records show the building at 302 N. East St. was built in 1928. Todd Academy offers high school and middle school programs for students who want to enter college early.
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  • Well, I will say that I am very glad that a use has been found for this building. Due to its location, size, parking issues, etc. reuse of this building is quite challenging. I assume that this may need to go before IHPC for something (use variance if necessary for an institutional use on a CBD-2 parcel, signage, or something). I am glad to see more quality educational choices coming downtown, so I wish them well.
  • I hope that they do not make many changes to the exterior. It is a good looking building as is. I do have to give the Todd Academy credit for not buying the building to tear down because it does not meet their needs like some have. Downtown once had many small private schools scattered around in building just like this. Good to see that tradition continue.

    IPS should learn a lesson that it is not new fancy buildings that create educated kids, it is parents, teachers and administrators who care that do. New schools will only bankrupt the community, parental involvement will educate children.
  • Indyman - your're right that it's not new fancy buildings that aid in the education process. But buildings that don't leak, smell like sewer, have air conditioning, ADA compliant, proper lighting, and proper technology IS what aids a student in learning and achieving their goals. IPS isn't looking to build all brand new facilities like Carmel, Franklin, Greenwood, Center Grove etc. They are making do with what they have.

    In addition, those teachers you refer to that educate the student need resources and materials to teach. You should have a teacher having to go to Marsh to make copies for her 26 students in her classroom (too many students to begin with) of which only 17 have books to take home and study from. The teacher has to make copies because the school has an old copier that breaks down and doesn't have enough books for every student. That is the major problem.
  • As someone who knows an IPS teacher, I agree with MikeW comments
  • This building was built in the mid-19th century, not the 1920's.
    Anyhow, this is in Lockerbie square, so it is extremely unlikely that it will be altered.
    It is great to see a better use of the structure.
    It is one of our older ones.
  • Mike W,

    So they are not building fancy new buildings in IPS? So what happened to School 34 near I-65 and Raymond? A very solid old building from the 1920's. It was in good condition, roof did not leak and with minimal maintenance, would last another 100 years. But IPS determined it was better to rip it down and replace it with a brand new building. The old one did not leak, did not smell like sewers, had great lighting, including a unique feature called large windows that provided not only light but ventilation. The only thing lacking was an elevator to provide ADA compliance. I know several inner city Catholic Schools that have turned 80+ year old schools into ADA compliant schools for a fraction of what IPS spends on new ones. And school 34 is not the only one. That is why IPS is wanting to spend close to a billion dollars to replace schools that just need an update.

    Oh yes, the air conditioning. Amazing how for 100 years kids attended these schools and managed to learn without AC. But of course school districts used an interesting thing called common sense to fix that problem. They started school in September and ended it in June. You see, there are few 85+ degree days in early June and September than in August which is when the kids start now. Seems like a waste to spend millions of dollars to AC schools that only really need them for a couple of weeks.

    I am sure most teachers are good. That was not really where my issue is. The number 1 teaching problem IPS has is that they can not get the parents to care. Some do, but the majority of the kids who have discipline problems or bad grades have parents who do not care. You find a solution to that, and you will change IPS for the better.
  • IPS starts in August to meet State requirements of school length. Plus, there needs to be air-conditioning to allow for year-round schools that are very effective. Finally, it seems like there are more days in September and October that are starting to have 85+ days. Even a day that is 80 degrees is going to be hot in buildings like the ones occupied by IPS.
  • IPS does not need to start in August. They end in May. Why is that? When I was in school, we went from the second week of Sept to the first or second week of June. Couldn't IPS do that? There are much warmer and humid days in August than there are in June. Heck, start in mid September and end in Mid June, still much cooler than august.

    3 IPS schools go year round. So we need to air condition all IPS schools because three go year round? That does not make sense. It is still cheaper to air condition an old school than to tear it down and build a new one.

    If the IPS schools have operable windows, there is no need for AC in 80 to 85 degree weather. Open the windows and run a fan or two. I would doubt many of these kids are used to AC at home. I know we did not until I was a teen. Even then we only used it on the hottest days.

    I think IPS could use some of the millions for new schools and AC on technology the kids need. Then let the taxpayer keep the rest. Seems fair to me.
  • Good point, Indyman. We all got much better educations without air conditioning, even in high school. Seems as if the school boards in many areas were more concerned with building imperial palaces than securing the basics including reasonable spending. One only has to go to Center Grove Schools, for example, to see the expanse of overabundance in their facilities.
  • Is this the Indy Star forums? Seriously guys, we should just be thankful that another educational facility is going in the heart of downtown. This should be a win-win for everybody involved and Lockerbie as well.
  • I think everyone is happy with this new school. If you read back to my original post, I say so. I also said that it is good to see people realize you do not need new and shiny to educate children.

    Wait till you see what CG has on the drawing board. I would hate to be a taxpayer in White River Township.
  • Yeah, from what I have seen and heard that they pay in taxes - its less than me in Washington Township in Marion County. Maybe because they do build one large monstrosity instead of multiple high schools in some counties/districts
  • IPS has more than three year round schools. Indyman, have you tried teaching 25 six year olds in 85 degree weather without air conditioning? Oh, and many schools don't have operable windows, so that's not really an option, either.
  • What's wrong with palaces for schools? I pay taxes and if something is going to be done, then do it right. Let's make sure these buildings are made to last 50-100 years and function the way they should. How can this be a forum that routinely laments that lack of progressive design and quality in the devolpment sector, yet the moment the subject turns to public schools, that passion goes missing?
    Really, I don't think IPS is going for anything close to palaces. They seem to be shooting for adequacy; and even that causes backlash.
  • Don't you get it Anhe, because of the furor over property taxes and many schools have been playing leap-frog to one up their counterpart's football field or gym. Exactly when is enough enough? Well, you're seeiing it, pal. People have had enough of unrealistic developing and feeding off the public trough.
  • You want to talk about unrealistic developing - then you need to turn to the suburbs. All you who live in the fishers, Carmel, Westfield areas. Anywhere that was pretty much a corn field about 7 years ago - that is unrealistic development - and not sustainable at all. The rapid new growth has what caused the strain on property taxes, infrastructure costs, and building new schools. If those areas and people would have focused on redeveloping what they alaready have, more denisty and reinvesting in what is already existing - then a lot of the stink over property taxes would not occur.

    I know Hamilton county doesn't pay as much in taxes as Marion County - but guess what - your developable land is almost gone - get ready for an increase in taxes like you have never seen in the next 5 years when people stop building and adding to the tax base and the flat back developments will start crumbling.
  • Given the choice between air conditioning every school in the state or paying to support the Colts' new digs, which one would you support?

    I know, I know: the two are totally unrelated. But learning to read or studying science in an 80 degree room is impossible and unacceptable. Doing physical work in the heat is one thing; LEARNING is another. The operable windows in my kid's school didn't do a bit of good last September, and even into October.

    Those of you saying schools don't need AC: respectfully, get a clue. Stop romanticizing how you were able to tough it out as a kid. Education is important, and worth the investment.
  • IPS Teacher, I went to the IPS website, and under schedules, I clicked on year round schedule and they listed three schools. I may be missing some, but I doubt many. My point still stands, be it three or ten, there is no reason to air condition all IPS schools. Adjust the schedule like in the old days. Remember them? We had no air. Heck, kids have been taught successfully at IPS for over a century with no air. So that must not be what is wrong. IPS needs to find the real issue and deal with it, not spending my taxpayer money to make kids more comfortable in August. Teach them, it has been done before.

    Donna,

    Education is worth it, spend the money on it. Not on AC that may be used for a couple of days (with the right schedule). It is amazing how AC has been around commercially since the 30's and all of a sudden IPS decides kids cannot learn without it. I wonder what we did the other 80 years.

    And for those 80 degree days, do what we did, take the kids outside and show them science outside the classroom. Amazing things lay just outside the doors.
  • I wish the school luck. There are no short-cuts to education in or out of the regular classrooms. More on-line education or chater schools is not what our community needs at this time of economic failures... failed by the so-call educated of our nation. Public or private colleges are not making the grade. Universities are not pressured to improve like the public schools, this hopefully will change the next eight years. Our state's 25 percent dropout rate is nothing compared to the 50% dropout rate of the post school high school institutions. Sending our students to college early when they our too young to handle campus life is a disservice to our youth. I'm a semi-retired teacher and now serving as a subsitute in I.P.S.....what an amazing job these teachers are doing in the largest urban district in our state. We should be so lucky. Teaching the whole child is more iimportant than the highest test scores in the state. We must appreciate the new with the old buildings in our community, and continue to focus on what is going on in the classroom. Have you visited a classroom lately?
  • Great idea, Indyman, to drag all those desktop computers out under a tree!

    I'm kidding, but really: AC is like heat and indoor plumbing. It's a basic health and safety requirement IMO. Yes, buildings that are sited properly and take advantage of overhangs, prevailing winds, etc. are happily occupiable without air conditioning - but the existing IPS buildings we are discussing (now that we've gone waaay off-topic from Todd Academy) are not new buildings using that kind of site-specific, vernacular, time-tested passive environmental technology that is old yet thankfully new again.
  • Those buildings were designed in the time tested tradition of cooling before AC was ever thought of. That is why they have large windows and in many cases transoms over doors to allow cross breezes without having to leave doors open. The high ceilings allow the heat to rise up away from the kids. The 1900's to 1940's schools are the poster children for providing cooling prior to AC.
  • I just want to point out that psychological studies have shown that the buildings people are educated in have a significant impact on their level of learning and the overall efficacy of the curriculum. While I agree that this does give people the right to spend wildly on these buildings, they are in fact as important as the teach and curriculum are.
  • And I am sure there are studies that say that it does not matter. There is plenty of annecdotal evidence that kids can learn as well in an old school as in a new one. It has more, much more to do with parental involvement than it does bricks and mortar.

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