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Whateley, A Brief History

 



Acquisition 1962-1964

When the school left receivership and fell into foreclosure, the property was acquired by a loose coalition of Heroes, Villains and Mutant Sympathizers here after referred to as The Trust. The Trust took possession of a ramshackle property, much in disrepair on February 1st, 1962. Present among the weeds were the Historic Buildings:

ʉۢ Shuster Hall
• Kane Hall
• Kirby Hall
• The Beck Library
• Dickenson Cottage
• Whitman Cottage
• Poe Cottage
• Emerson Cottage
• Twain Cottage

From center campus, there are three residential "arms". Northwest is the "boys' arm": Emerson Hill with Emerson Cottage atop it (400 yards from edge of the grounds), followed by Twain (700 yards total) in the shadow of Emerson Hill. Northeast is the "girls' arm" with Dickinson Cottage (400 yards) atop Dickinson Hill, and Whitman Cottage (700 yards total) in the shadow of that hill. Due south is the "co-ed arm" with Melville Cottage (300 years) atop O. Henry Hill (long story). Poe in the shadow of that hill (500 yards), and Hawthorne is the farthest cottage, hidden away at 900 yards from campus.

Historically, there were straight paved paths with long sets of steps. Earth moving and landscaping has eliminated that, replacing the old concrete paths with six-foot-wide brick walks that wind through trees. Period gaslights adorn the walks, and there are scattered benches, sculptures, picnic/study tables, statues, and plaques along the way. Biking/skating/etc. is disallowed on these paths, but a paved (though slightly longer) path exists for bikes, boards, service vehicles, and the like.This is the current map of the campus, along with the history of the buildings.


Also present on the grounds were the combination Carriage House (Since removed) and The Shed which housed the steam plant for the school. Also present, though much abused was Holbrook Arena, a classic Track and Field stadium.

The Trust immediately set to work restoring the existent Historic Buildings and preparing the school to receive its first class. This work took the better part of two years and cost a tremendous amount of money. In 1964 applications began to be accepted for the coming 65-66 school year which would be the first admission of students which would become the Class of 1970, the first class to attend the school for a full term of High School. Note that the first graduating class was the class of '66 which only served their senior year and consisted of twenty students.


First Classes 1965-1970

Quickly it became apparent that the school's facilities were insufficient for the growing class sizes. In 1964 a new member of The Trust brought a fresh infusion of capital and two new buildings were added to the campus, the round and four winged Laird Hall and the rambling, vaguely L shaped Dunn Hall. Both buildings were done in the heavy concrete 'Industrial' Style that was popular in the late 1960s. These clashed somewhat with the traditional brick and mortar 'New England' style of the Historic Buildings but were popular with the students due to such new features as Central Heat/Air. Laird Hall, the smaller of the two opened in 1966 followed by the larger Dunn Hall in 1969.

Expansion 1971-1980

The school continued at this level, being added to in a haphazard manner by the advent of Senior Legacies, for five years. At the close of the Vietnam War and the ongoing uneasiness in race relations the Curriculum undertook its first major overhaul. Starting in the 1974-1975 school year, EVERY student in every study track was required to undergo realistic combat training in addition to training in controlling their mutant powers. These classes emphasized self defense and conflict de-escalation techniques, but there were also student on student training 'fights' so that each could understand the use of their powers in a situation as close to real world as could be managed.

Naturally, students began to get hurt on a fairly frequent basis. The simple Nurse's station in Shuster Hall and the government mandated anonymous research into mutant phenomena in Dunn Hall were unable to cope with the frequency and level of injuries the new training was causing. There was debate among The Trust, Faculty and Staff on how to proceed, but everyone agreed the combat training was too useful to discontinue. The Trust then came to the realization that a new building was needed and in 1978 ground was broken on the Doyle Medical Complex. This eight story rhomboid building was built in the Glass Curtain Wall style that was popular in the late 70s and early 80s and was outfitted as a state of the art hospital. The Nurse's Station in Shuster Hall and the lab space in Dunn Hall were moved to the new building and their spaces reclaimed in the other buildings.

Also during this period, for the first time, the student body crested five hundred students. Short of dorm space, in 1981 ground was broken on Melville Cottage, this new co-ed dorm was to be the pinnacle of a program that would see the other cottages refurbished and rebuilt to this new standard. Constructed in a Post Modern concrete and glass facade style, the new dorm boasted an oval shape with a center courtyard and separate dorm 'wings' for males and females, reconnecting at its base for common areas. The Cottage was designed by renowned Paranormal Architect The Builder as the center piece of this program. However, cost overruns and a sense of nostalgia by a number of faculty and students canceled the proposed demolition of the other cottages and only Melville was built.

Prominence 1981-1990

During the Roaring 80's the school's reputation grew to enormous levels as the leading school for mutants worldwide. A huge influx of international students, studying on scholastic visas brought a very international flare to the campus and pushed the school to its limits. Fortunately the Legacy Project had continued and it is during this period that the Crystal Hall was built. And while this magnificent structure was not commissioned by the school or the Trust, it has in many ways become the symbol of the school. Replacing an older theater on the back of the North Wing of Shuster Hall, the Crystal Hall was a geodesic dome of forced growth lattice crystal which housed the new school cafeteria, kitchens as well as an arboretum. The school's original cafeteria in Dunn Hall became the School House Restaurant.

It was also in this period that the school's last major construction project was completed, Hawthorne Cottage. It had become apparent over the years that there were a number of students that had powers beyond their control, strength they couldn't suppress, projective telepaths and the like. A specialty dorm was needed and, by necessity it would be co-ed. There was brief talk of renewing the project begun by The Builder, but he was unavailable and more to the point, his designs would not meet the specifications of this new building, thus it was designed from scratch. The U Shaped, heavy concrete structure of Hawthorne Cottage was disguised with a curtain wall veneer of traditional brick in hopes it would blend in better with its neighbor Poe, but for some reason the ivy that has been planted repeatedly over the years refuses to grow onto the building, constantly making it stand out.

 

Comments   

0 # Anne 2015-11-29 04:04
This is a good summary of the school in its present iteration. There are a couple of other points that could be covered by someone... first is this: when did people start realizing that mutants were not just different but actually had powers or were speedsters...? Second perhaps a list of the administrators at the school would be helpful. We know that Dr. Alexander (If I Recall Correctly) preceded Mrs Carson, but was he the first administrator?
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