DANIEL ISLAND — On Sept. 11 Bishop David B. Thompson of Charleston will dedicate Bishop England High School’s new campus on Daniel Island.
Bishop England held its first full day of classes at its new home on Aug. 14, and school officials have planned several activities to kick-off a new era for the historic Catholic school.
Bishop Thompson will be the celebrant at the first Mass for students at 9 a.m on Sept. 11 in the school’s gymnasium. Parents, alumni and friends are invited.
Msgr. Lawrence B. McInerny, rector of Bishop England, will join Bishop Thompson in dedicating the school grounds at a public dedication ceremony at 6 p.m on Sept. 11.
The Battling Bishops will play their first football game in the new stadium later that day at 7:30 p.m. The cost of admission is $4 per person. Bishop Thompson will dedicate the stadium at halftime.
Hot dogs and hamburgers will be for sale on the school grounds after the dedication ceremony.
Principal David Held said he hopes the school community and the larger community can be a part of the public dedication ceremony. “We want to give everyone an opportunity to see the new campus.”
The new facilities offer the school plenty of modern amenities and room to grow. Students first began returning to the classrooms for this school year on Aug. 10 for orientation. Held said the new atmosphere has required a bit of orientation for everyone in the school, but has not dampened the excitement.
“Now that the students have arrived, there really seems to be a great deal of enthusiasm. Everything is new to us and we are feeling our way around, but there is a great spirit of cooperation,” Held said.
The summer has been hectic for the school’s staff, who’ve been preparing for opening day. Held said one of the best examples of cooperative spirit was the volunteer effort organized by a group of alumni, parents and students to take on the tough job of laying sod on the school’s new football field. “It was about 100 degrees and we had 40 to 50 people out there laying sod. That is a good example of the support we have had all summer long.”
In September of 1995, Bishop Thompson officially announced Bishop England’s relocation from downtown Charleston after five years of study and negotiations. The move was made possible by the donation of land from the Daniel Island Development Company and the purchase of the downtown campus by the College of Charleston for $8.9 million.
The new campus will have enough room to accommodate 1,000 students. It features 41 classrooms; seven labs (including two computer labs); a modern library/media center; and music, band and art rooms. Athletic facilities will be greatly improved including a 1,200-seat gymnasium; a 2,500-seat stadium; a baseball diamond; and weight, wrestling and training rooms. The school also features a large courtyard and commons area. Special amenities include wide hallways, built-in lockers and ample parking.
Construction of an auditorium is planned for the future.