THIS JUST IN: Paramount wants to open elementary school in Cottage Home

Paramount Schools of Excellence – a charter operation whose flagship school opened in Brookside Park in 2010 – has plans to open an elementary school in Cottage Home.

The plan’s first administrative hurdle comes tonight, Nov. 6, when it is brought before the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission.

Paramount wants to renovate a former industrial building at 1203 E. St. Clair St. The structure dates to 1917, with subsequent expansions as late as the 1980s. It was once housed rail cars, storage and a repair shop for Indianapolis Railways.

The school would be known as Paramount Cottage Home, serving students in grades kindergarten through grade 4. Plans would be to serve up to 450 students over the next three years. The school would employ upward of 50 full-time employees in the next three years.

Paramount leaders also plan to replicate the school farm which has been established at the Brookside Park school. Potential components of the farm are a production garden, learning garden, chicken coop, goat run and apiary. The school also plans to install a playground in the future.

The petition filed by Tommy Reddicks of Paramount Schools seeks a variance of use to allow for schools in an industrial zone. IHPC staff recommended approval of the petition, because the Cottage Home conservation plan recommends the subject property, if ever rezoned, be designated a park district, and schools are permitted in park districts.