With expansion in mind, Abby A. Sutherland, the owner and principal of The Ogontz School, purchased 54 acres of land belonging to the Herring estate in “the rolling hills of Rydal” in 1916. She hired the famed Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer to create a large main building in the style of an English Manor House. Using Trumbauer would elevate the prestige of the new campus and Trumbauer’s reputation as well. Several smaller buildings already on the property allowed Miss Sutherland to separate the older and younger girls. A section of the land was located on the north side of Woodland Road. It is unclear whether she owned, or just rented, the original mansion —Shangarry —but the lovely old building for a time housed the elementary division called The Rydal School, at least through 1922. Many photos show both older and younger girls on Shangarry’s vast lawns for May Day exercises and drill.
The transition from the beloved old school in Elkins Park was difficult for the students, and alumnae as well, but the demand for modern schoolrooms, gymnasium, swimming pool, and heating system, was compelling. Miss Sutherland encouraged the girls to assist in the transfer of memories and traditions, and graduates of the Class of 1916 visited often and participated in groundbreaking ceremonies. Soon the “new school” would win everyone over, as daughters of the old girls flocked to join its ranks. (Sisters, cousins and granddaughters came as well. A Kin Club was eventually formed for those who were close relatives of Ogontz graduates. By the time the school was closed in 1950, fifty-five percent of the student body was in the club.)