Noblesville City Council considers zoning change for school


The Noblesville City Council considered amending an ordinance to allow a private school — Eman Schools — to be built on 17.9 acres of 31 total acres at 14600-14800 block of Boden Road in Noblesville at its Jan. 9 meeting.

The petition was filed by the Fishers-based Alhuda Foundation, an Indiana nonprofit that, according to its website, represents the largest congregation of Muslims in Indiana. The school would be for pre-K through high school students.

Alhuda Foundation has an Eman Schools in Fishers. The amendment, which still needs to be approved by the Noblesville City Council, would allow an Eman Schools to be built on a site in Noblesville.

The zoning district is on the Corporate Campus Planned Development District, with an underlying subdistrict of mixed residential subdistrict and a designated land use of single-family residential. The amendment would approve special consideration for school use.

The petition received a 10-1 favorable recommendation from the Noblesville Plan Commission. The request will come before the city council during its Jan. 23 meeting.

The proposed 120,000-square-foot, two-story school would have a soccer field, tennis courts, green space and a retention pond and parking for 300 vehicles. It would have a capacity for 800 students, according to Gordon Byers, an attorney representing Alhuda Foundation.

“They educate across all social-economic classes,” Byers said. “They’re not just (educating) certain elite students.”

The Eman Schools in Fishers placed in the top 3 percent in the U.S. with its advanced placement score, and its third-grade won the top award in the state for literacy, according to Byers. It has 400 students within its three buildings and is fully accredited with the state, regulated by the Indiana Department of Education and has a calendar in alignment with the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Corp.

“They have an 8-to-1 student-teacher ratio, which is probably one of the most important factors that they maintain,” Byers said.

In other city council business Jan. 9, councilmember Darren Peterson was elected president and councilmember Megan Wiles was elected vice president.

The next meeting is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at City Hall, 16 S. 10th St.