A member of Indiana Public Libraries, the Irvington branch has been a central hub of the neighborhood since the early 20th century when it began in a joint establishment with the growing Butler University. Over the course of the last century it has only moved twice, the Irvington Public Library (IPL) currently resides in the heart of Irvington on the corner of Washington and Audubon.
Sue Kennedy, an avid lover of books and people runs the branch. She has worked among the books at libraries and bookstores since she was in high school.
“I’m very at home in this place.” She said.
Located along the busiest bus route in the city, the library is easily accessible by much of the city. It is the largest internet provider out of all the area’s public libraries.
“One of our priorities is to provide computer and internet access to those who can’t normally access it,” said Kennedy. “It allows people to apply for jobs and use email who normally would be unable to do so. We strive to serve the community first.”
In tandem with the library’s charter as a community center, the IPL provides meeting space for local organizations like gardening clubs and business associations. It even has expanded an area for teenaged patrons designated for after school gathering and phone charging. It has been heavily utilized.
Irvington Library also plays a sizeable role in community functions like the Folk Music Festival where it has provided jazz listening sessions, storytelling workshops, and folk music-related lectures. During the famous Irvington Halloween Fest, it hosts family events like child performances, live music in the parking lot, and a designated children’s area.
“We are here and we have many great resources for all ages, rediscover us if you haven’t been back.” Said Kennedy.
Irvington Community Schools’ extended school day, year-round schedule keeps students on track to achieve academic excellence. Our tuition-free public charter schools have been making good on this promise to our community of learners since 2002. To learn more about Irvington Community Schools, contact our school leaders:Jennifer Daugherty (Irvington Community Elementary School, K-5), Loryn Venekamp(Irvington Community Middle School, grades 6-8), or Deanna Pryor (Irvington Preparatory Academy, grades 9-12). We appreciate your interest in Irvington Community Schools!
In wake of the state’s decision allowing charter schools to offer their services to Indiana residents, current superintendent of Irvington Community Schools (ICS), David Nidiffer helped establish the small liberal arts charter to give members of Irvington and the surrounding area another option for their children’s schooling. Serving students of all ages grades K-12 with separate facilities for elementary, middle and high school, it is hard to believe the #1 ranked Indianapolis public charter school has only been around for 13 years.
Soon after its opening, ICS built its own elementary school and bought its middle school building from Little People’s Prep in 2010. The charter opened its new high school, Irvington Preparatory Academy, shortly after. It is located off of University Boulevard in the heart of Irvington.
Many in the community were initially skeptical about a high school being run out of the neighborhood, but their minds quickly changed when they saw the vast benefits of the institution.
“The building was about to be boarded up which definitely would not have been a good look for the area,” Nidiffer said. “And even though Irvington has many draws for new residents, its things like local schools that get people to stay.”
The school holds its students to high academic standards, requiring students to take at least one AP class before graduating and now requiring all students to receive an honors diploma if they wish to graduate. They accomplish this by focusing greater attention on students than larger institutions. In the first graduating classes of 2010 and 2011 the school graduated a total of 117 student who went on to more than 20 different colleges and universities. For many students, they were the first in their families to go to college and – for some – to graduate high school.
“We are a smaller system, students receive a lot of individualized attention, if you’re child wants to put their head down and go through school unnoticed, this is not the place to do it.” Said Nidiffer.
Besides providing state-sponsored schooling for children and free and reduced lunch for 60% of its student body, Irvington Community Schools takes pride in its focus on civic engagement. High school students are required to spend at least 10 hours every year working in the community, eventually adding up to 40 hours by the time they graduate. Activities vary from cleaning up the neighborhood to working in the senior home. A couple students have done their boy-scout final projects in the neighborhood.
Currently the school also boasts 10 varsity sports including basketball, volleyball, track and field and soccer. Golf and tennis are both scheduled to be added to their repertoire.
“We just get better and better at what we do.” Nidiffer said. “Our school is small, safe, teaches respect, and gets students involved.”
- Recruits exciting new businesses to the heart of Irvington.
- IDO also oversees the Irvington Streetscape project which focuses on creating a sense of place and enhancing the economic vitality of Irvington.
- Manages the redevelopment of the old Indy East Motel which has become a sleek and contemporary 50 unit apartment complex called Irvington Lofts.
- Promotes the Irvington Green Initiative which focuses on sustainability efforts in Irvington,.
- Awarded over $180,000 in grants to local businesses and property owners. Facade grants improve their buildings’ appearance and beautify our corridor.
The Irvington Garden Club (IGC) is a group of community minded, garden-loving neighbors from Irvington (and beyond). IGC is one of many clubs in the central district of The Garden Club of Indiana, Inc., which is a member of the central region of the National Garden Clubs, Inc.
Since our founding in January 1999, our goals have been to:
Promote interest in native plants, wildflowers, grasses and wildlife habitats.
Stimulate the “greening” of Irvington by example through tree plantings, beautification sites, and cooperative efforts with other community organizations.
* Increase the knowledge of gardening of our members and others through monthly meetings, the Conservatory, and our newsletter.
* Enhance the quality of life in our community by sponsoring farmer’s markets, an annual garden tour, and participation in Irvington events.
Accesability Center for Independent Living, located conveniently (and accessibly) on the corner of Washington and Hawthorne by the bus stop is a non for profit organization founded in 1947 with the noble charter of aiding individuals who wish to live independently but may find it difficult to do so. Their clients range from people with physical and mental disabilities to young people in need of aid transitioning into the world after high school and everything in between.
Melissa Madill and Amber O’Haver, the managers of the clinic, are both highly invested in their business. O’Haver performs her day to day tasks from a wheelchair.
“There are many attitudinal barriers for the disabled,” O’Haver said, “We strive to teach people to never be happy with the status quo and to be the force for change they wish to see in their life.”
People entering the clinic go through a straightforward set of steps to achieve their goals. First, they meet with staff members who give them information about or refer them directly to a specialist in their area of disability. If the individual needs an advocate staff members will aid in the process as well. Next an independent list of goals is drawn up for each individual and they are given information about institutions that may be helpful to meet their needs like. Patients are encouraged to stay in touch.
“If you think we might be able to help you, we probably can,” said Madill.
Besides catering to the disabled on an individual level, Accesability works in the community promoting disability awareness in both schools and businesses. They are currently working with the city to pass a “visitability” ordinance that would require all newly constructed houses to have at least one door that is wheelchair accessible and a first floor bathroom.
The clinic has had five successful years of helping people learn to live independently, boasting a 98% satisfaction rate and touching roughly 3000 people per year.
“Our ultimate goal is to work ourselves out of a job.” Madill said.