Parkland School is a formerly abandoned school in the Parkland neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. It was renovated to house Family Scholar House, a non-profit organization that provides housing and support services for single-parent college students and their families.
Parkland School was constructed in 1891 at the corner of Catalpa (today’s 28th Street) and Dumesnil streets in the city of Parkland on the west side of Jefferson County.1 7 After a tornado six city blocks wide caused extensive destruction to the city, the town was unable to fully recover and was annexed into the city of Louisville in 1894.7
Bids for a remodeling and expansion of Parkland were opened on August 15, 1911.3 The project entailed the construction of an additional four classrooms and the conversion of the basement into science and manual training classrooms. The lowest bid submitted was $17,261. Students began using the new addition in the summer of 1912 although work was not wrapped up until late December 1912.5
By mid-1913, the new addition had become overcrowded due to the city annexing additional county lands.6 Kindergarten children were housed in a rented cottage across the street with two other classes being held in a former bakery.6 A portable building was brought in to serve as an additional classroom.
Plans for a $960,000 enlargement and renovation of Parkland were approved by the Board of Education on October 2, 1967.2 The project entailed the renovation of the original building and the addition of a three-story structure with a combined 22 classrooms and space for 800 students. Designed byArrasmith, Judd, Rapp & Associates Architects, the new building was unique in that it featured classrooms encircling a wallless library. Renovation and expansion work was finished by September 1968.
In 1985, Parkland was renamed after Milburn Taylor Maupin, the first African-American central office administrator for the city public school system.7 Maupin served as an interim superintendent from January to June 1975 and retired as deputy superintendent in 1978.
Construction of a new elementary school for the Parkland neighborhood began in 1997,1 opening in August 1998 at a cost of $9.6 million.4 The single-level, 75,000 square-feet building was designed for 540 students and featured two computer labs, an auditorium, and gymnasium.
After the new Maupin school opened in 1998, the original Parkland School was mired in controversy.
From 1998 through 2005, Shiloh Baptist Church and its pastor, Henry Humphrey, directed an effort to remodel the school into affordable senior citizen apartments.11 The church received $1.2 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Services (HUD) between 2001 and 2005, along with $300,000 from the city for a new roof and elevator in the school. The lead architect, Nolan and Nolan, quit the project in 2004 over non-payment amid disputes with Humphrey and other project leaders.
Red flags were soon raised over falsified reports, eventually leading to Humphrey and his grant writer being charged with 11 counts, including defrauding HUD of $831,000.10 Humphrey was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty.
The school remained abandoned until Family Scholar House, a non-profit organization that provides housing and support services for single-parent college students and their families, broke ground on renovations to Parkland on September 27, 2012.8 The ceremonial event kicked off construction of the $12.2 million Parkland Scholar House project,9 financed with low-income tax credits from the Kentucky Housing Corporation,8 federal tax credits for historic preservation, a $1.2 million grant from the James Graham Brown Foundation, and conventional financing.
The project, designed by Marian Development Group, included the renovation of the circa 1891 and circa 1911 buildings, the demolition of the circa 1968 building, and the construction of a new structure, to house 48 two- and three-bedroom apartments.8 The complex also included a computer laboratory, meeting space, community kitchen and dining room, library, fitness room, playground, gardens, and on-site parking.
A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Parkland Scholar House was held on August 7, 2013, and residents began moving in on August 10.9