Weekend festivities set at Kiski School
SALTSBURG — The Kiski School is celebrating the opening of its Carroll “Beano” Cook Outdoor Athletic Center, The Donald H. Jones Athletic Stadium and the Orr Track and Field on Saturday.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place Saturday at halftime of the varsity football game that begins at 2 p.m.
Carroll H. (Beano) Cook, class of 1949, was a notable and popular alumnus who passed away in October 2012. He graciously remembered Kiski and his fondness for the school through a generous bequest in his estate plan.
A plaque will be placed at the Outdoor Athletic Center in his honor that states, “We are proud to dedicate The Kiski School’s Outdoor Athletic Center to Beano Cook in memory of his generous and enthusiastic support of Kiski, our athletic programs and our educational mission. We honor him with this memorial in recognition of the positive influence his legacy has had and will continue to have on generations of Kiski athletes.”
The Donald H. Jones Athletic Stadium is named in honor of Donald H. Jones (1937 to 2012), an entrepreneur, inventor, mentor and teacher. Jones was a venture capitalist who rose from humble beginnings on a Westmoreland County farm to found four high-tech companies and hold 15 patents. He spent many happy hours standing at the Kiski field watching boys compete for their school. He helped lay the foundation for two generations of entrepreneurs who, in turn, have made Pittsburgh a formidable player in the world of innovation and technology.
His son, D. Thompson (Tom) Jones, was an excellent student-athlete. He played Kiski football for four years and graduated in 1979. Along with his mother, Barbara Jones, and sisters, Amy and Autumn, he will be present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Jones was a member of the 1977 and 1978 football teams that will be inducted into the inaugural class of Kiski’s new Sports Hall of Fame.
The Orr Track and Field is named in honor of four multigenerational Kiski School graduates, the Joseph H. Orr family. Graduates Joseph H. Orr (’27), Joseph H. Orr Jr. (’48), Joseph H. Orr III (’75) and Joseph H. Orr IV (’05) have witnessed many decades of growth at Kiski. The Orrs are a legacy family that has supported the educational mission of the school for many years.
“We are sincerely grateful to Beano Cook, the Jones family, and the Orr family, and their generosity and their commitment to advancing Kiski’s mission,” Christopher Brueningsen, headmaster of The Kiski School, said. “I’m pleased and proud that we will have an opportunity to honor all of them by associating their names to our new facilities. The excitement about the Outdoor Athletic Center, the Athletic Stadium and the outdoor track among current and prospective students, parents, faculty and alumni is truly amazing.”
The new Carroll “Beano” Cook Outdoor Athletic Center is a state-of-the art complex. Kiski’s new turf is comprised of monofilament and parallel slit film, which will give the appearance of a natural grass surface, but will endure the harsh western Pennsylvania weather. The field will be lined for football, soccer and lacrosse and will allow all three teams the opportunity to practice and play on safe and consistent field conditions.
Kiski’s new world-class track is a premier track that will not be found on any private or boarding school campus in the country. The new track is designed by Robbins Sport Surfaces and will be installed by ABACUS Sports Installations. The track is identical to the track that Usain Bolt trains on at the Jamaican National Stadium.
“Kiski has always had exceptional athletes and outstanding coaches, and now we have an athletic center that is truly first-class,” Kiski’s director of athletics, Christopher Spahn, said. “Our student-athletes and coaches are thrilled about the new facilities, and of course, to compete against our rival schools.”
On Friday, at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, The Kiski School will hold the induction ceremony for the inaugural class of its new Hall of Fame. The first class of inductees included Beano Cook, an ESPN sports commentator; Robert Mathias (’49), a decathlete who captured two Olympic gold medals in 1948 and 1952; Jack W. Fuellhart (’62), a cross country, track and wrestling athlete who held a three-year record of 32-0; William Bower (’73), who is considered by many to be the greatest swimmer and one of the school’s greatest swim coaches; and the 1977 and ’78 football teams that are two of the best football teams to represent Kiski.