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Growing Avon Moves Graduation to Cleveland State's Wolstein Center

For the first time, Eagle will hold commencement off school property

On June 1, the Avon High School class of 2013 will make history, being the first graduating class to not actually graduate on the high school's grounds.

Instead, the 262 seniors, having outgrown their gym, will receive their diplomas at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center.

“More than four years ago we knew we would max of the gym capacity,” Principal Kristina Dobos Buller said. “We had commencement there for many years.”

Finding space for the graduates was not the problem; finding space for relatives was.

“For eight years we didn’t have to regulate tickets,” Buller said.

Two years ago, former principal Chad Coffman began the ticket allowance system.

“People were disappointed in that,” Buller said. “They would get 4-5 tickets.”

Last year though, people were sitting on the floor and some of the exits were blocked.

“The fire marshal was kindly upset with us,” she said.

The school even tried issuing extra tickets for a set-up overflow area in the auditorium where friends and relatives could watch on a big screen.

“And last year, we also had a live Internet feed,” Buller said. “But we can’t physically fit them in anymore.”

The district briefly reviewed using Avon’s stadium for an outdoor ceremony, but the stereo system and the possibility of bad weather put a damper on those plans. Adminitrators finally decided on CSU in February 2012 after realizing a growing district means locating a place that will hold graduates, family and friends.

Avon Local School District has opted, like numerous other districts, to utilize Cleveland State’s facilities.

Lakewood, Strongsville, Parma…they have all moved to CSU,” Buller said.

With the Cleveland State facility able to hold 20,000 people, Buller doesn’t see any restrictions on the number of friends and family members that can attend.

She did say the graduation would be a bittersweet event.

“I want these seniors to graduate from their school; it’s their gym, it’s their nest,” Buller said.

On June 1, the Avon High School class of 2013 will make history, being the first graduating class to not actually graduate at the high school.

Instead, the 262 seniors will receive their diplomas at Cleveland State University, after having outgrown their gym.

“More than four years ago we knew we would max of the gym capacity,” Principal Kristina Dobos Buller said. “We had commencement there for many years.”

Finding space for the graduates was not the problem; finding space for relatives was.

“For eight years we didn’t have to regulate tickets,” Buller said.

Two years ago, former principal Chad Coffman began the ticket allowance system.

“People were disappointed in that,” Buller said. “They would get 4-5 tickets.”

Last year though, people were sitting on the floor and some of the exits were blocked.

“The fire marshal was kindly upset with us,” she said.

The school even tried issuing extra tickets for a set-up overflow area in the auditorium where friends and relatives could watch on a big screen.

“And last year, we also had a live Internet feed,” Buller said. “We can’t physically fit them in anymore.”

The district briefly reviewed using Avon’s stadium, but the stereo system and the possibility of bad weather put a damper on those plans. They finally decided on CSU in February 2012 after realizing a growing district means locating a place that will hold graduates, family and friends.

Avon Local School District has opted, like numerous other districts, to utilize Cleveland State’s facilities.

“Lakewood, Strongsville, Parma…they have all moved to CSU,” Buller said.

With the Cleveland State facility able to hold 20,000 people, Buller doesn’t see any restrictions on the number of friends and family members that can attend.

She did say the graduation would be a bittersweet event.

“I want these seniors to graduate from their school; it’s their gym, it’s their nest,” Buller said.

joe mama January 28, 2013 at 08:16 PM
isn't that special

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