At the time, May Bennett was running a successful school for girls in Irvington, some 60 miles to the south. However, she was looking to enlarge her operation and settled on Halcyon Hall as the perfect place. Soon, the guest rooms had been transformed into dormitories, while the grand public spaces became lecture halls.
As a school, Halcyon Hall found a new lease of life. With more than 100 students in residence, it offered a broad curriculum that included everything from domestic science to fashion design. Outside of the classroom, meanwhile, the girls were encouraged to partake in leisure activities such as horse riding and golf.