n June of 1998, as part of its strategic plan, the Episcopal
Academy Board of Trustees directed the "active pursuit
of a large tract of land in the western suburbs to serve as
a long-term asset and a means of preserving future options."
With this charge, a small group of dedicated visionaries
contributed close to $20 million in 2000, enabling us to acquire
123 acres of rolling pasture and mature trees unlike any other
on the Main Line. The natural setting is beyond compare and
provides a fitting environment for our educational mission.
Furthermore, the site is strategically located in Newtown
Square, which is in the heart of the fastest growing region
of greater Philadelphia, and yet still only 30 minutes
from Center City. We could not have imagined a more perfect
Why build an entirely new campus? Episcopal Academy is a
far larger, more complex community than it was even twenty
Today, more students are taking more courses in the same buildings
and playing more sports on the same courts and fields than
Twenty-five years ago, the Academy offered eight Advanced
Placement courses; today we offer fourteen. Modern language
instruction begins in grade six, not grade eight, and the
offerings in history, religion, music, drama, and Upper School
mathematics have increased.
The advantages of constructing a new campus become particularly
compelling in looking at the constraints facing Episcopal¹s
two current campuses.
The Merion campus, established in 1921 to house a boys' school,
has now been coeducational for three decades. With coeducation
came the need for additional facilities and more field space.
Over the years, we have reworked the campus to the extent
that space has allowed. But no matter what we do, the reality
is that Merion was intended for a school of 600 students,
not the current enrollment of 900.
For all of these reasons, we have concluded that in order
to remain among the top independent day schools in America,
Episcopal needs a new, larger, unified campus.