Chilton County High graduation venue changes

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Graduation ceremonies for Chilton County High School will not be held at the Jefferson State Community College Economic Development Center, as originally planned. Rather, the ceremonies will be held in the CCHS auditorium.

Delays in construction are the primary reason for the venue change, CCHS Principal Greg DeJarnett said. Because only 500 seats had been ordered for the economic development center, fewer people would have been able to attend. The school’s auditorium seats approximately 1,000 people.

Graduation is scheduled for Thursday, May 27 at 6 p.m.

“The administration and staff at CCHS apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, as they had hoped for any member of the public who wanted to attend to be able to do so,” said Laura Ward, senior class sponsor.

Ward explained the location of JSCC was chosen in October, and the school staff understood that the facility would be completed in plenty of time for graduation. The building was chosen because its estimated capacity is between 2,000 and 2,500 people — at least twice that of the CCHS auditorium.

In order to provide as much seating as possible, the school will run a live feed of the graduation to its cafeteria, which seats about 400 people. Seniors will march past the cafeteria doors on their way to the auditorium, DeJarnett said.

“Everyone will get an opportunity to get that feel of seeing their loved ones graduate firsthand as they march into the auditorium,” DeJarnett said.

Color-coded tickets will be issued to each graduating senior to give to loved ones who wish to attend. Each senior will receive five orange tickets and two blue tickets.

Orange tickets are for early admittance to the auditorium. On the day of graduation, orange ticket holders will be admitted to the auditorium from 4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. No seats will be held after 5:15 p.m.

Blue ticket holders will be admitted to the auditorium on a numbered basis, only if there are unclaimed seats. After those seats are filled, blue ticket holders will go to the cafeteria from 5:15 to 5:30 p.m.

“Students should not lose their tickets, as there will not be any more printed after the first distribution,” Ward said.

Students who have ordered announcements from GradPro, the supply company used by the school, are encouraged to not mail the announcements until new cards are printed with the correct information.

DeJarnett said new plaques are also being printed listing Chilton County High School as the location of the ceremonies.

Also, DVDs of the graduation will be available for purchase. The school staff also encourages families to plan activities in conjunction with graduation.

“We ask that parents and members of the community focus on the fact that their child is receiving a diploma from Chilton County High School, instead of the fact that the location of the ceremony has changed,” Ward said.

DeJarnett said some had inquired about the possibility of holding graduation in the school’s football stadium. He recalled a past outdoor event at a different school that was threatened by lightning from a thunderstorm.

Although a storm might seem unlikely, DeJarnett said the school staff didn’t want to take the chance.

“It only takes one time for someone to be hurt,” he said.