1985-1989: Sycamore makes decision to become independent school
They decided that this mission could best be achieved through the creation of a private, independent institution, and thus, before the end of 1984, Sycamore School was chartered as a not-for-profit corporation in Indiana. Gene Eib, a highly regarded, recently retired public school principal, was hired as its founding Headmaster on Christmas Eve, 1984.
With Gene Eib’s leadership and credibility, plus boundless energy from the parents and teachers, feverish preparations were made during the 1984-85 school year. A building was leased from a Unitarian Church near Butler University and prepared for use by the new school. Teachers were hired, used furniture and a few instructional materials were gathered, and the school opened in the fall of 1985 with 110 students in kindergarten through grade five.
Enrollment expanded rapidly, and the young institution quickly outgrew the church’s available space. Portable facilities were rented, but it became obvious that a new location was needed. Board members pursued a lease on a vacant public school building. While these negotiations were going on, the Butler Preschool for Gifted and Talented Children, operating under the auspices of Butler University, was in the process of closing. Sycamore School completed its agreement with Washington Township to lease Grandview Elementary School just in time for a number of teachers and families from the Butler Preschool to join Sycamore in its new, much larger building.
Thus, in the fall 1989, the school moved to the site it occupies today, serving students from three years of age through grade eight. It was then a 14-acre campus with a 56,000-square-foot building. The campus is now 16 acres, and the building has 200,000 square feet under roof. This one building houses all of the academic facilities: classrooms, science and computer labs, music and art studios, gymnasium, auditorium and library. The grounds also contain athletic fields and play areas for younger children.