The gowns are pressed and the students are ready, but will the weather hold up?
With rain in the forecast Thursday, students and families of Southington and Cheshire High Schools are preparing for a potential indoor graduation.
“It’s a really hard decision because you want people to witness graduation,” explained Southington Schools Superintendent Timothy Connellan.
The contingency for Southington High School graduation is to move proceedings from the outdoor football field into the school’s West Gym. Meanwhile the East Gym and auditorium will have a live video stream of the ceremony.
A year ago Connellan estimates an outdoor graduation crowd between 4,000 and 5,000. An indoor ceremony would be smaller.
“We do have the ability to put about 2,000 people inside but of course that’s 40 percent or 50 percent of the folks that we had witness graduation last year,” said Connellan
Southington is not alone. Cheshire High School is facing the same dilemma. Their plan also includes holding the main ceremony in a gym and streaming video into overflow rooms. The ticket distribution for both schools would then be limited to two per family.
“I actually have a pretty big family. A lot of cousins who were planning on coming to this,” said Cheshire senior Thomas Cherneskie. “Without knowing exactly how many people can attend, it’s a little aggravating.”
In the winter, students stay on top of the weather hoping for a snow day, but now students are hoping for the rain to pass, so festivities can remain outdoors.
“I keep checking the weather like every 10 minutes because I really just hope the rain will hold off,” said Cheshire Senior Kaitlyn Laura.
Another option being considered by both Cheshire and Southington is potentially starting graduation later. Many options are being considered, except one.
“What we do not want to do and will not do is we will not put people in jeopardy,” said Connellan. “We’re not going to put anyone out there if the forecast says we’re going to have thunderstorms.”
An official decision will be made Thursday morning.