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Our History

The lower school building at spring time
Children raisng the flag in front of the school

Today, with more than 600 alumni around the globe and numerous academic, artistic and athletic accolades to its credit, the words of The Salisbury School founding headmaster Eugene Munnelly have never been more relevant,

“The future of our school lies primarily in its own hand and in the hand of those who nurture it. Our effectiveness is not marked by age, size, nor wealth, but by the more fragile human qualities of imagination, creativity, integrity, enthusiasm, and hard work.”

Incorporated in 1969 in the belief that “the basic purpose of education is to help the learner to learn, and that the method of this education is more important than the content,” The Salisbury School opened its doors at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in the fall of 1970. Since then, the school proudly boasts over 50 years of educational excellence and a continued legacy of graduating caring, confident students who are prepared to thrive as global citizens.

After two years in rented space, the school built its own building in 1972 on 18.5 acres on Hobbs Road. Designed by the award-winning Hardy, Holzman and Pfeiffer Associates of New York, the building layout was conceived with experiential learning as its guide. Over fifty years of TSS lower school students share fond memories of entering through the famous student-inspired tunnel directly into the library, the well-loved heart of the building.

Growing each year as classes advanced, the school served students up to 8th grade until committed parents and administration decided to expand the school to include an upper school in 1996. The unique domed building, also designed by Hardy, Holzman and Pfeiffer, celebrated its first 12th-grade graduating class in the spring of 2001.

In 2005, middle school students got their own architecturally significant home designed by local firm Becker Morgan Group. These three buildings, with their open-plan designs, multi-use flexible gathering spaces, and ample natural light reflect the school’s belief that education is a dynamic relationship of shared responsibility between the students and teachers.

A group of students with green hard hats standing around and on a bulldozer for the groundbreaking for the upper school .
The lower school building in the middle of contruction in the early 1970s
Artist drawing of the lower school used on the invitations for the opening of the new Salisbury School in 1972
Three little girls climbing and sitting on a jungle gym
One of the first teachers getting ready to take a group of little children for a walk on the school's nature trail
Lower school in the late 1970s with cars parked in front of the school
Black and white picture of a little girl walking up the lower school triangle shaped tunnel
A upper school cross country runner running past the lower school entrance sign
The first headmaster shaking hands with some of the younger students as they arrive at the top of the lower school tunnel
A crane lifting the cone shaped glass object on top the upper school dome