CHARLESTON — The Carl E. Poole Jr. Track and Field Facility at Bishop England High School was dedicated on Feb. 4. The ceremony was held in the Bishop David B. Thompson Fine Arts Center at the school. Afterward, Msgr. Robert Kelly blessed the track.
Poole was a native Charlestonian who attended Catholic schools and graduated from Bishop England in 1961. In high school, he became one of the better sprinters in the Charleston area. He was a “walk-on” member of the Clemson University track team. He began to excel as a sprinter and from 1962-65 held a number of state and Atlantic Coast Conference records. After college, he was a member of the U.S. Army track team and also participated in the Olympic trials. After leaving the Army, he returned to Charleston and remained active as a runner in masters track events as well as local fun runs. In 1993, at age 50, he died suddenly from a heart attack. His children graduated from BEHS and his wife, Janet, continues to be a supporter of the school.
Due to financial limitations, the track and field facility was not included in the original construction of the BEHS campus. In 1997, a group of track team parents began a drive to have the facility built. Forsberg Engineering designed the track and served as project engineer; their services were donated. The contractor for the project was Austin Construction of Summerville. All funds and services for this $350,000 project were donated from the private sector.
For the first time in the school’s long history, its campus has a track and field facility. It is an eight lane, state-of-the-art track with a rubberized latex surface.