International School of Indiana lands $1.5M gift toward new elementary building

An Indianapolis private school is well on its way to reaching a $7 million fundraising goal that will help it unify its campus, thanks to a $1.5 million lead donation from Telamon Corp. CEO Stanley Chen and his wife, Allison.

The International School of Indiana publicly announced the campaign Tuesday night even though $5 million has already been raised. The goal is to raise enough money to fund construction of a new elementary school at 4330 N. Michigan Road in Indianapolis, adjacent to the school’s middle and high schools. Right now, ISI pre-elementary and elementary-aged students attend school in a building at 200 W. 49th St.

The proposed 45,000-square-foot building is expected to cost $13.5 million, and the school expects to finance some of the cost. Between the Chen family’s gift and pledges from a silent fundraising phase, the school has already raised more than two-thirds of the money.

International School of Indiana offers students certified International Baccalaureate programming and language immersion in French, Spanish and Mandarin starting at age three and continuing through grade 12.

The Chens’ two oldest children are currently students in third and fourth grade at ISI. Stanley Chen became CEO of Carmel-based Telamon in 2015, taking over for his father, Albert Chen, who founded the business in 1985.

“This new school building, and more importantly a unified ISI campus, is the culmination of two-plus decades of work, and we are honored that the Chen family has chosen to invest in ISI not by making a single gift, but by committing to support our institution for the foreseeable future,” Elizabeth Head, ISI head of school, said in written comments. “Those in our school community understand that the Chens’ decision is simply an extension of their long-time commitment to ISI, and belief in our mission.”

Before launching its public fundraising campaign, ISI held a 10-month silent phase with support from Sidney Taurel, chairman emeritus of Eli Lilly and Co., who gifted his Indianapolis residence to the school. Some two dozen donors donated during that phase.

The school has partnered with Schmidt Associates and Shiel Sexton Co. on the building project. The goal is to break ground on the new school building next year and to open it for the 2021-2022 school year.

ISI was founded in 1994 and has grown from 38 students to nearly 600.

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