The Little Miami Local Schools Board of Education voted Tuesday, Oct. 16 to change the location of graduation ceremonies this year and relocate them to an indoor facility out of the district.
On June 7, 2013, the Class of 2013 and their families will attend commencement exercises at the Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University, following the Board’s vote on Tuesday night.
In May 2009, Little Miami moved commencement to the stadium at Hi-Five Field as a cost-saving measure as the district dealt with financial challenges. Prior to that, graduation had been held at Cintas Center on the campus of Xavier University and at other venues. At the time, the move to the high school campus saved the district about $8,000.
However, moving graduation to an outdoor site made the ceremony vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather. The Class of 2009 and 2010 had favorable weather for their commencement. The Class of 2011 was not so lucky, with friends and family sitting in a chilly drizzle right up until the start of the proceedings.
Following the near rain-out, district officials began researching the cost of holding graduation at LMHS versus holding the ceremony off-site. The numbers were surprising. The cost to hold the Class of 2011 graduation at Hi-Five Field, which included stage and sound system rental, security and labor, cost the district $6,036.62. The Bank of Kentucky Center, on the campus of Northern Kentucky University, and the Nutter Center at Wright State, both offered rental rates several thousand dollars less.
Superintendent Greg Power recommended to the Board the Nutter Center venue at a rental cost of $3,000, which includes free parking, seating for up to 6,000, security and more. The Bank of Kentucky Center’s fee was $3,500. Other venues, like the UC Clermont and UC Blue Ash locations were researched, but either did not offer enough seating or were not accepting reservations.