Graduation and Memorial Stadium
by John Jackson
First off, let us offer a hearty "CONGRATULATIONS" to our fine seniors. We are so very proud of you!! Enjoy the moment and everything it has to offer. Be careful, use good judgment and finish strong. Remember the words of that wise and scholarly American philosopher, Yogi Berra. "It ain't over till it's over."
We regret that we will not be graduating in Memorial Stadium. The primary reason for this is that there's nowhere to sit. The bleachers in the main home side seating section have been removed due to renovation. Thus, our graduation exercises will be in the Arena. Two years ago the Arena housed the graduation ceremony due to rain. Everything went fine.
While I'm on Memorial Stadium, let me briefly speak to the work taking place. The stadium was constructed almost 60 years ago in accordance with the building codes in effect at that time. As the system grew, the need for additional aisles, hand railings, handicap accommodations, seating capacity, etc. also grew. In order to bring certain components of the facility up to present day codes, the entire facility had to be brought up to today's codes. Also, a large underground pipe has existed running from Memorial Drive, underneath the visitors stands to the opposite end of the stadium. This pipe carries away creek and runoff water. The entire line had to be replaced with an even larger pipe because the old line was failing and sink holes were appearing.
Not many schools played boys and girls soccer when the stadium was constructed. Soccer has become quite popular and many of our students play the game. A 1983 field house that served primarily football and boys track and field, now serves football, boys and girls track and field, and boys and girls soccer. Thus, a larger field house along with the addition of soccer fields became necessary.
In conclusion, ideas, suggestions, revised policies, etc. regarding school security have sprung forward like a flower in bloom. There have even been hints that state and federal funding might be forthcoming. Thus, for a period of time we are going to wait and watch to see how this school security matter plays out. To whatever extent possible, we will continue upgrading security systems, modifying doors and building entrances and fine tuning emergency procedures. At this time, no action will be recommended on the adoption of a new policy.
Thanks to everyone for your interest and support.