The James E. Poole Athletic Facility

Construction Progress

List of 5 items.

  • The Project

    As part of the Campaign for the Third Century, The Albany Academies have launched a capital campaign focused on funding the construction of a 32,000 square foot multisport practice facility located on the north side of the existing Michael B. Picotte Field House. The building will house a four lane track and areas dedicated to high jump, long jump, pole vault, and shot put. Two basketball courts will be placed inside the track oval, with provisions to make it easily configurable for volleyball, tennis, gymnastics, wrestling, and a variety of field sports. We plan to build this facility during this academic year (2018-2019), and open it for student-athletes in fall of 2019.
  • Programmatic Need

    Conversations about this practice facility began with the programmatic need to provide additional practice space for winter sports, particularly basketball. Over the last few years, robust enrollment has led to more athletic offerings for students coming from a larger geographic footprint, such that the Academies now field more than 50 athletic teams and attract students from as far away as the Lake George and Cobleskill areas. For some teams, this increased demand on court time has pushed practice into the early evening, which becomes almost untenable for those student-athletes and families negotiating the logistics involved in commuting an hour or more to school.
    As discussions about a practice facility evolved beyond solving this need, it became clear that we were also presented with an incredible opportunity to create a venue for indoor track. Such a facility will be unique among high schools in the Capital Region, further differentiating the Academies and potentially driving increased enrollment activity for student-athletes who are interested in competing in track and field at an elite level. This opportunity dovetails nicely with the Academies’ long-standing commitment to track and field as embodied by legendary coach and student-athlete James Poole ‘68, who continues to be involved in helping determine the specifications of this facility and secure the funding necessary to see it completed.
    An indoor multi-use facility of this size will also provide space for fall and spring sports to practice during times when fields and outdoor courts are inaccessible due to inclement weather conditions. With seemingly wetter summers and colder winters, schools across the Northeast are increasingly investigating all-weather solutions that allow student-athletes to practice despite fields that are unplayable.
  • The Costs

    The total cost of this project is $4 Million, which includes construction costs, “soft” costs (design, fees, legal, furniture, fixtures, & equipment), and a facilities & maintenance funds for the building.
  • The Philanthropic Need: $1.5 Million

    This project has attracted the support of several close friends of the School who have made transformative commitments that have allowed us to move forward with construction. We enter into the construction phase of this project fully confident that other members of our community will join them.
    The goal for this phase of the Campaign for the Third Century is to raise $1.5 Million. While the funding stream for the project includes some long-term borrowing, this additional philanthropic support allows for completion of the Multisport Practice Facility without incurring additional debt service or expending reserve funds. Doing so allows the Academies to continue to maintain a very positive budget position, which is vital for long term financial sustainability.
  • The James E. Poole ’68 Challenge

    Beyond solving a programmatic need and further differentiating the exceptional work of the Academies, this project also provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to honor Coach Poole, whose legacy at the Academies spans over 50 years as a student, teacher, coach and mentor. To make this a reality, a generous donor has offered a capstone gift of $333,000 towards the $1,000,000 needed to name the Multisport Practice Facility in honor of Mr. Poole, and is challenging all of Jim’s former students, athletes, advisees and their families to join him in making a gift to this project and memorializing Coach Poole’s legacy at The Albany Academies for generations to come.

The Albany Academies aim to educate students

with the knowledge, skills, and character needed for leadership and success in the creative, entrepreneurial century that lies ahead. A well-rounded education including rigorous academics, exposure to the arts and a requirement to participate in athletics are important components of leadership and character development. In fact, it's what distinguishes Academy students from their peers.

Thank you in advance for your kind consideration of this project.
For further information kindly contact Director of Institutional Advancement Ann Wendth at (518) 429-2385.

A Letter from James E. Poole '68

I always considered it an honor to work at my alma mater and have the opportunity to teach and coach such outstanding students over the years. To keep things fresh, I “graduated” from working with Middle schoolers to teaching Upper School students. Because of that I experienced every grade from 5-12, except freshmen, but, of course, I did have them on teams that I coached.
About ten years ago as I stood with my peers around the outside of the seats in our morning chapel meeting, I was overwhelmed by the thought that I belonged to such an august assembly of faculty members. I wasn’t certain that I was worthy to belong to such an amazing group, but I was grateful nonetheless.
As much as I took pride in the classroom accomplishments of my students, I derived equal satisfaction in the success of my teams. No other school in Section II – large or small – has as many Track and Field section record holders as the Academy, and I feel immense pride in that. I always tried to make athletic participation fun for my athletes and I believe, for the most part, I succeeded. Along the way, we won many league and sectional championships, and even a state championship in Track in 2000.
At the completion of my 35th year, Dr. North presented me with a gift and I responded by saying, “It’s been an honor and privilege.” I always felt that to be true.

The Albany Academy

Albany Academy for Girls

Schellenberger Alumni/ae Center