HILLSBOROUGH: Graduation ceremonies set to move off campus in 2014

No contract yet, but school calendar pinpoints June 18, 2104

By Gene Robbins, Managing Editor
   After this June, future Hillsborough High School graduations will be held away from the school campus.
   Without signing a contract, school board members said they were finalizing details to hold the June 2014 ceremony at Sun National Bank Arena in Trenton.
   A revised school calendar approved Monday shows a 2014 graduation date of Wednesday, June 18.
   In a letter to parents and students, Principal Karen Bingert shared the news with parents, staff and students.
   ’She wrote that she was happy — and a little wistful — to share the news.
   ”In the years when the weather has been good, our own stadium has been an outstanding venue for our commencement exercises, and it is certainly a place of nostalgia for our students and parents,” she said. “However, recent years have brought us rain or exceptionally hot and humid weather, which has either forced us indoors or forced us to be uncomfortable outdoors, also risking heat-related illnesses for attendees.”
   If the ceremony must move indoors, the ceremony can seat fewer guests per graduate, which places pressure on families to make decisions as to which family members can attend, she wrote. That’s compounded because the decision to hold graduation indoors or out comes at the last possible moment (3 p.m. on the day of graduation, if there is any question about the weather forecast), so “families are hard-pressed to know ahead of time who will or will not be able to attend.”
   ”All in all, it adds a level of stress to a day that should be filled with nothing but celebration, smiles, and family pictures,” she wrote.
   Sun Bank Arena “is one of the few air-conditioned venues in a driveable distance that can handle the size of our graduating classes and their families and friends and provide ample parking,” she said. “This will also provide more seating for guests than we are currently able to offer when graduation is held on the HHS campus. The facility needs to be booked more than a year in advance, which is why this will begin with next year’s graduating class.”