Indianapolis: Reconstructing Continuity

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Indianapolis: Reconstructing Continuity investigates the rethinking of public school facilities based on the presently under-performing Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). In 2010, IPS had a graduation rate of 58%, which is severely lower than the state average and the second lowest in the nation after Detroit. This project also proposes how the under-utilized, vacant building stock in Indianapolis inner-city neighborhoods can be reused to initiate urban reinvestment within distressed communities. In combination, these explorations aim to attract more families to central Indianapolis because it is a population currently being lost to sprawling communities.

Frequently, when Indianapolis families decide to have children, they will relocate to suburban school districts or send their kids to private schools. Thus, the importance of families in Indianapolis lies in how this population could dramatically improve IPS and innercity communities through the reduction of their displacement.

Historically, like many American cities, the Indianapolis central business district experienced urban disinvestment following World War II when Americans began to prefer the up-and-coming suburban neighborhoods. For Indianapolis, this meant that many of those who could afford to live in the suburbs moved, and those who could not remained inside the city. Among the many side-effects were a struggling inner-city population, abandoned structures, fewer economic resources, and hardship for Indianapolis Public Schools. By understanding Indianapolis’ social and urban history, an investigation of the following is explored to address the aforementioned issues: building reuse to create neighborhood revitalization, reengaging the high-risk, dropout IPS middle school student population with the educational process, and restoring public schools through partnerships with private organizations. These ideas aim to inspire and inform subsequent educationand community-based developments.

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