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Waterhouse Field will not be the site of 2017 graduation ceremony

Due to unsafe conditions of bleachers at Waterhouse, this year's graduation will be a little different from past years.

Lauren Paquet, Editor

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With the recent closing of the bleachers due to unsafe conditions at Waterhouse Field, seniors worry about their upcoming graduation as the event approaches.

To many parents and students dismay, the 2017 graduation will be held in the Tiger Gym. President of the Graduation Committee, Lisa Berry, said that they didn’t have many options when they heard the bleachers at Waterhouse Field had been condemned just months before the event.

“We kind of had no choice [ but to have graduation in Tiger Gym] because of the bleachers,” said Berry. “I have been told by Mr. Walton that we still might have another option available to us, but that hasn’t been put out there yet.”

Although Berry would love to have it at Waterhouse, she doesn’t think the location will affect the event itself.

“It’s not really about the venue for graduation it’s the event itself,” said Berry. “It’s going to be great no matter where it is. Would I love to have it at Waterhouse? Absolutely. But if we can’t, it’s still going to be great.”

It’s not really about the venue for graduation it’s the event itself,” said Berry. “It’s going to be great no matter where it is. Would I love to have it at Waterhouse? Absolutely. But if we can’t, it’s still going to be great.”

— Lisa Berry

Waterhouse Field

For senior Chantel Gagnon, her main concern is not having enough tickets since she has a big family that is very close.

“I would say there’d be ten of us, and that’s just my immediate family,” said Gagnon. “It would be kind of upsetting if they [all my family members] couldn’t see me graduate.”

Principal Jeremie Sirois recently sat down with the senior class officers and discussed their options for the big day.

“We can seat about eighteen hundred family members [in the Tiger Gym],” said Sirois. “We can also open up the Little Theater and stream it. I can open up the library and the cafe to stream it as well. The streaming part might be nice for grandparents who might have a hard time with any type of heat or sitting on the bleachers.”

Gagnon thinks those in charge of graduation should explore all their options before making a final decision.

“[If I had a say, I would] definitely see what we could do about graduating on maybe a different field,” said Gagnon. “I know UNE has been brought up, and even if that doesn’t work, bringing bleachers from our other fields like St. Louis or Rotary Park could work. People could bring their own chairs, too.”

UNE is an option Sirois has looked into considering they allowed our sports teams to use their field for free. However, Sirois doesn’t think graduation should be held there.

“I’ve explored UNE, and I really don’t want to have our graduation on UNE property,” said Sirois. “I want to have it someplace that you guys know.”

As far as having enough tickets goes, Sirois isn’t worried about having enough room and thinks they will give out more tickets than years past.

“People are worried about the amount of tickets,” said Sirois. “Typically we give out eight tickets, and I’m confident that we can give out at least nine if not ten tickets.”

Berry wants to give everyone a voice in deciding where the event is held, but stresses that they need to make a decision very soon.

“We also can’t wait until last minute, so we kind of have to make a decision and stick with it,” said Berry. “We do have extra tickets, and it would be first come first serve for those.”

Gagnon ultimately just wants to graduate, and doesn’t care as much about the venue as receiving her diploma.

“I think it comes down to the point where as long as we graduate, it’s fine.”
Wherever graduation ends up being held, administration believes that the class of 2017 will have the day they deserve and will go on to do amazing things.

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Waterhouse Field will not be the site of 2017 graduation ceremony