Midlothian Independent School District's Multipurpose Stadium is starting to live up to its name as the district will host graduation ceremonies at the facility June 5.
It will mark the first time Midlothian has held graduation on school property in more than 10 years. MISD's 2008 graduating class is expected to be close to 400 students.
MISD seniors were give a letter last week by MHS Principal Al Hemmle, detailing plans for this spring's ceremony.
"I know there is much anxiety about moving the graduation ceremony from the Potter's House to the Midlothian ISD Multi-Purpose Stadium this year," Hemmle said. "The decision to move was mainly due to a sharp increase in the cost to rent Potter's House."
Hemmle said this year's graduation will see a number of firsts.
Hemmle pointed out the 18-foot by 14-foot jumbotron will give all attendees a good view of activities. He also said each graduate will be featured on the big screen as they receive their diploma.
At the conclusion of the Thursday night ceremony, a fireworks display is planned.
Hemmle said the stadium has 8,000 seats, so graduates can invite as many guests as they wish. He pointed out the facility has 2,500 parking spaces available on the paved stadium parking lot and overflow parking available on the school property located north of Stadium Drive.
"We have reserved handicapped seating above each spectator section for the disabled and elderly, and an elevator to ease their access to the upper level area.
As with any outdoor event, Hemmle said weather could be a factor.
"I have checked the temperatures for June 5; the average high is 89 degrees and the average low is 79 degrees," said Hemmle. "With an 8 pm start for the ceremony, the temperature should be relatively comfortable for the graduates and audience."
A back-up plan, in case of inclement weather, is in the works but not yet finalized.
"In the event of bad weather, we will proceed with the ceremony, same date and time, at the MHS Arena," Hemmle said. "Because the arena will seat only 2,500 spectators, each graduate will be given five tickets for family member admission into the Arena."
Additional family members and guests can view the ceremony via closed circuit video in the cafeteria, auditorium and selected classrooms.
Hemmle said more information will be shared with students and parents when the back up plan is finalized.
Hemmle urged parents to call him at 972-775-8237 if they have questions or concerns.