Family and friends of the New Richmond High School Class of 2022 had a somewhat stressful experience on graduation day due to uncertainty caused by inclement weather.
After a one-hour delay, Principal Joseph Stewart took a chance and moved forward with the graduation ceremony based on weather radar and what appeared to be a small window of opportunity. As hoped, the rain held off long enough to complete the graduation ceremony but did return just as the last student speaker was wrapping up her comments.
While the stadium is a beautiful setting for the graduation ceremony, the event is vulnerable to weather conditions that are out of the district’s control including excessive heat, rain and storms. It’s also not without cost. Rental this year of a ramp totaled nearly $2,000. There are also the employee hours and associated costs for lawn maintenance, parking, set up and tear down of the stage and chairs, and security costs. When the event is delayed or pushed back to Saturday, overtime costs would be incurred. There are also the unmeasurable emotional costs that come with organizing a major event and the stress of uncertainty.
As a result, the Board expressed its support for Mr. Miller exploring alternative, off-site graduation venues. The district has a history of holding graduation ceremonies at indoor, off-site locations.
Recent records show that graduation was held in the high school gym from 1983 to 1991. It moved to Northern Kentucky University from 1992 through 1994, to Taft Theater from 1995 through 1998 before moving back to NKU, then to Aronoff Center for two years, then back to NKU. The high school stadium became the designated site in 2011.