At the request of the City Council in 1896, the State Legislature created the Handley Board of Trustees (the “Handley Trust”) to receive and manage the assets bequeathed by Judge John Handley and to fulfill the terms of his will. The Handley Library, built in the beautiful Beaux Arts style, was completed in 1913 and has since undergone several major renovations and expansions. Soon after the completion of the Handley Library, plans were begun for what would become one of the most magnificent and progressive schools in the state and country, Handley High School, completed in 1923.
Although the Trust helped to finance the multi-million dollar renovation of Handley High School completed in 2009, its primary focus for many years has been on programs to expand and enrich the educational experience of students, teachers, parents, and the entire community. Recognizing that the funds of Judge Handley which established the Handley Trust are finite, while the needs of the school system will continue indefinitely, the Trust recognized the need for private fundraising efforts and was a strong supporter of the movement to create the Winchester Education Foundation.