Friday, March 23, 2001

Fairfield moves graduation event

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        FAIRFIELD - Graduation for Fairfield High School's 575 seniors will move from the school's arena to Xavier University's Cintas Center.

        The move was announced Thursday once school officials had tabulated responses from the 313 families who either turned in questionnaires or were contacted by staff Wednesday. Of those who responded, 296 said they preferred the Cintas Center.

        “The intent of the board of education was to have a graduation ceremony with dignity and decorum,” said Anne Crone, president of the school board. “Where it was held was not the issue. Accommodating the parents at Cintas and maintaining decorum and dignity gives us a win-win situation.”

        Last July the board decided to move graduation from Miami University's Millett Hall to the arena to give school officials more control over security and guests, who were often so disruptive that parents couldn't hear their child's name announced. Other concerns cited included the distance that had to be traveled largely on narrow, two-lane roads, and lack of air conditioning.

        Moving the location means moving the date ahead one day. Graduation will begin at 7 p.m. June 6 instead of June 7.

        Senior Kyle Hamilton said it didn't surprise him that more people favored the larger location. Like other seniors, he needed more than the six tickets each student was allowed.

        " “I like the Cintas Center a lot,” Kyle said. “I didn't like that people might have to watch from somewhere else” via closed-circuit TV if graduation were to be held at the arena. “The ticket (restriction) was the main problem.”

        Tickets will still be required, said Superintendent Robert Farrell. The move will not be more expensive than holding graduation at the arena, Mr. Farrell said.

        “By the time you rented a sound system, brought in TV screens and figured in the cost of a shuttle bus, there was no way Cintas was going to be more expensive.”


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