Amateur meteorologists around Granville will be keeping an eye on the Doppler radar and the long-range forecasts as the Class of 2011 prepares to bid good bye to high school and embrace its future outside for the third year in a row.
“I’m hopeful we’ll be outside because then it’s the more the merrier,” Superintendent Mark Bessen said.
With improvements to the façade, the refurbished dome and the stamped concrete pad it will be a nice spot to take pictures of the graduates. “It’s just a pretty background,” Bessen said.
The ceremony will be on the Granville Central School lawn and is scheduled start at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s always an exciting event to be at a graduation to see the graduates, knowing all of the hard work they’ve put in over the years to get those diplomas; I’m very excited for them as they begin their futures,” Bessen said.
The front lawn will be set up for the ceremony and as a backup, the gymnasium will also be ready as an alternative. If the ceremony is moved inside, there will be much less seating, and will be restricted to ticket holders only should the weather go against the graduates, Bessen said.
“At least it’s air-conditioned if the weather does push us inside,” Bessen said.
The seniors receive a limited number of tickets for the seats provided by the school, but relatives and well-wishers will have unlimited access to the rest of the lawn.
As long as the weather holds, those outside of the reserved seating area are encouraged to bring a lawn chair as space is practically unlimited.
Bessen said school officials would be watching the forecast as well as hoping for good weather up to and during the ceremony.
The decision on where to have the ceremony will be made based on the weather forecast and what the radar shows moving into the area and could change at any time.
Bessen said someone will also be watching the radar during the ceremony and advising school officials with updates.
This year’s scheduled speakers include valedictorian Alyssa Martel and salutatorian Patrick Ryan as well as Granville Board of Education President Kathy Nelson, Bessen and Principal Scott Bojanich.
Last year the weather cooperated with a pleasant and cool evening for the graduation ceremony.
In 2009, the first time the ceremony had been held outside in several years, the graduates and guests narrowly avoided a storm that held off until just minutes after the conclusion of the graduation ceremony. That outdoor graduation was the first that had taken place at Granville since 2000.