For the first time in nine years, an outdoor graduation ceremony is in the works for Granville Jr./Sr. High School.
Plans call for commencement exercises for the school’s class of 2009 to get under way at 6:30 p.m. on June 26 on the high school lawn.
Graduation adviser Laura Colombo said this year’s 125 graduates will join the ranks of those attempting to have an outdoor ceremony – the last time was nine years ago for the class of 2000,
Graduates will receive two tickets for the special seating area for family members closer to the action, she said. Everyone else will have the remainder of the lawn to set up. Like the concert in Veterans Park those outside of the reserved seating area are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.
“Where ever they can, throw down a lawn chair; that way it frees it up for people – there’s a lot of room on the lawn,” Colombo said.
Based on the weather forecast for the starting time of the ceremony, district Superintendent Dan Teplesky will have the final say on whether the event is held outside or inside.
“The decision will be no different than it was two years ago, if the weather is really terrible and it’s a ‘sunken ship’ by noontime or one o’clock, with no hope the clouds will part that we can use the front lawn, we will make that call at that period of time, if not, we will go right up until four o’clock on graduation day before we make a decision, maybe even five o’clock, it’s a six thirty start we’ve got both sections set up, so it’ll probably be between four and five o’clock when the final decision will be made,” Teplesky said.
“It will be Mr. Teplesky and Mr. Poucher that will gather look at the computer, see what the forecast has to say and if we see that the storms are going to skirt around us we’ll hold graduation outside,” he said.
The seating will not be set until during the day; after the call has been made.
Colombo said students would find out for sure where they will receive their diplomas at the graduation rehearsal in the morning.
Regardless of whether it’s inside or outside, the ceremony times will remain the same. Colombo said the only difference between the indoor and outdoor ceremony would be the traditional PowerPoint presentation featuring pictures of the graduates set to music. Should the outdoor ceremony go off as planned the presentation, which is already provided to the graduates on a CD, will be shown before and after the ceremony in the high school gymnasium.
Because the school district does not have the equipment to project a large-scale outside image, Colombo said, the show will go on, just in the gym.
Parking will be available in the village municipal lot, both high school parking lots, the Granville Elementary parking lot as well as side streets around the school.
Those who can are encouraged to walk to the ceremony to help ease congestion from the crowd associated with a 125-member graduating class.