As O’Neal closes in on its fifty years, we look back at how the campus has grown. The campus master plan created in 1997 is complete. The plan experienced many changes through the years, but the objective to provide an environment where young people can thrive has remained steadfast.
Given the offerings necessary for a college preparatory school, tuition does not cover the entirety of a student’s education and is why the School’s annual fund is so important.
The building of a physical campus requires a whole different level of giving by way of capital campaigns. Hence, when only a few months after O’Neal opened in 1971 with four mobile units, the Trustees were making plans for a brick-and-mortar building. In 1972 they launched a capital campaign with a goal of $828,000 to build a gymnasium and pool and a classroom building. The School received tremendous support and though the plan was gym first, classrooms second – Taws Hall was dedicated in 1974 and Tate Gym/Pool was dedicated in 1975.
Capital campaigns continued as the enrollment grew to accommodate the students.
Share the Vision
A capital campaign was launched in 1997 after the creation of the campus master plan. Share the Vision was phase one for making it a reality. The $3 million campaign consisted of the construction of a new Upper School, Meyer Hall, the renovation of the swimming pool, the upgrading and restoration of the Lower (later replaced by McMurray Hall) and Middle Schools, as well as the renovation of the Tate Gymnasium roof and its heating and air conditioning. Somewhere along the way, the master campus plan was slightly adjusted and our building holding administration, dining commons and art studios – Bradshaw Hall replaced the plan for two separate buildings. Between 2000 and 2005, buildings were dedicated, and renovations were made.
Complete the Vision
In 2006 Phase II of the Campus Master Plan saw the building of McMurray Hall Lower School and the Hannah Marie Bradshaw Activities Center. Complete the Vision capital campaign had a goal of $7 million for the two buildings and the campaign was scheduled to run from 2006-2011.
In 2009, the Activities Center opened to students and was later dedicated and named The Hannah Marie Bradshaw Activities Center in 2011. McMurray Hall Lower School was opened and dedicated in 2008. Though the campus was complete, the capital campaign was not. Interim funding was secured to cover the cost of the Activities Center. The campaign was rejuvenated with a new name: Building Communities. Challenges were made by major donors to match donations to energize the campaign.
The Landmark Society
In 2014, a group of major donors, we call the Landmark Society, joined to cover the remaining debt. A garden was built in honor of this group of donors and is called the Landmark Garden.
The campus you see today, including tennis courts, baseball field, playgrounds and more has been provided by generous donations from our supportive O’Neal Community.
Falcons Fly to 50
O’Neal is excited to share its history with readers as it quickly nears its 50th year in educating and cultivating youth in becoming successful, effective contributors to communities large and small. The official celebration starts school year 2021/2022. This weekly blog will focus on different aspects of the School as it grew through the years. With every entry, there is just as much more information to gather than what is already written. Readers who have been a part of the O’Neal community are encouraged to reach out and share their O’Neal memories. It is with great hope that the efforts of many in contributing information and photography can be published into a book for reflection and reference as the School continues to prosper for the next 50 years.
Please send your memoirs and photos to:
The O’Neal School
c/o Kathy Taylor, Director of Communications
P.O. Box 290
Southern Pines, NC 28388