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?