Whateley Academy started in 1896 as a regular, albeit unsuccessful New England Preparatory school, one which had a mediocre history and eventually fell into bankruptcy in the late 1950s. It was reopened in 1966 as a school for mutants.
- The original article was written by E. E. Nalley and published in the Crystal Hall Forums, WA Universe section: History of Whateley Academy
When the school left receivership and fell into foreclosure, the property was acquired by the Whateley Trust, a loose coalition of Heroes, Villains and Mutant Sympathizers including the Syndicate, the Black Mask, Champion, Lady Champion, the Empire City Guard, Doctor Alexander and Rev. Englund. The Trust took possession of a ramshackle property, much in disrepair on February 1st, 1962. Present among the weeds were the Historic Buildings:
- Shuster Hall
- Kane Hall
- Kirby Hall
- The Beck Library
- Dickinson Cottage
- Whitman Cottage
- Poe Cottage
- Emerson Cottage
- Twain Cottage
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 1965-1970Edit
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.
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.
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.
Whateley's first headmaster was the legendary Doctor Alexander. He was succeeded by a series of headmasters who couldn't handle it. The procession was ended when the trustees appointed Lady Astarte as acting headmistress.
The only student dorms being used at the time of opening were Emerson and Dickinson, though many of the buildings were around, including Schuster Hall and Poe Cottage, which was used as on-campus housing for faculty.
Most of this is from an original seed article, so it's seeded canon information. It's been updated a bit since. See Mimeographic for a story that includes much of this information.