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Freedom Hill or Ultimate Soccer: Which Would You Choose for Graduation?

Chippewa Valley Schools must decide by the end of June where to have the Class of 2013 graduation ceremonies for Dakota and Chippewa Valley high schools.

High school graduation dates and venues are hard to come by and if Chippewa Valley Schools wants its pick of both, it will need to finalize its details for 2013 by the end of this month.

In the last 10 years, classes from and high schools have graduated from Meadow Brook in Rochester Hills, Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights and most recently, Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac.

When Freedom Hill closed two years ago, the , as graduating classes had become too large for Meadowbrook’s seating capacity.

, the district must decide whether to return to this local venue–and risk losing its preferred date should Freedom Hill not open–or play it safe and book Ultimate Soccer.

“I know the consensus among parents that I’ve heard would prefer to have it at Freedom Hill, at least from the south side,” said school board member Euel Kinsey. “However, this year I didn’t hear one complaint (about Ultimate Soccer). There were a lot of people who were grateful–because it was so hot–that it was inside this year.”

Booking either venue would require the district to pay a $6,000 non-refundable deposit.

The district has also considered Ford Field or the Palace of Auburn Hills, but Director of Secondary Education Ed Skiba said the cost of these venues is just not feasible.

“We’re talking four times the price,” he said.

At the close of their June 18 meeting, school board members agreed that Freedom Hill would be preferred, but found themselves leaning toward Ultimate Soccer for its controlled environment and sure availability.

“On a perfect day you can’t beat Freedom Hill,” said Superintendent Ron Roberts. “It’s a really pretty setting, but perfect days at the beginning of June are hard to come by. There are some advantages I think to the soccer arena.”

A key advantage of Ultimate Soccer is the fact it is both enclosed and air-conditioned, so wind, rain or scorching heat won't matter.

“Having a graduating senior next year, I sure like not worrying about the weather, but again I agree with (Trustee Andrew) Patzert, the schools should make that decision,” said George Sobah, board president.

Should Chippewa take a chance on Freedom Hill, or book with Ultimate Soccer another year?

sandra clor June 20, 2012 at 02:05 PM
As a parent with the parking pass, it was just fine. We did arrive early, as it was recommended. Other guests of ours used the parking shuttle and they were only minutes behind us upon entering the arena.
Sean R Smith June 20, 2012 at 02:07 PM
100% Freedom Hill, It's a GREAT venue!! It's where my oldest Son had his Graduation Ceremoney.
Jenny Whalen June 20, 2012 at 02:14 PM
I'd love to hear from a Class of 2011, or 2012 graduate on this. I myself graduated from Freedom Hill in ... well, let's just say it was sometime in the not too distant past ...
Pamela Simone June 20, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I had one daughter graduate 07' at FH and one in 11' at Ultimate, I vote FH all the way! Ultimate is too small and confined for a large group such as Dakota's classes. I wonder why they don't consider the Palace, went there for Ford's grad this year and it was great!
Sue June 21, 2012 at 01:09 AM
I did not like ultimate. It is not for the elderly. My parents could have never been able to get on the bus to shuttle over. It was horrible getting out of there also..

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