Graduation ceremonies see scheduling problems

by Sheldon Ocker

July 18 school board meeting

Revere Superintendent Michael Tefs informed the board of education that the date and venue for the 2024 high school commencement must be changed.

Senior class officers for the 2023-24 school year were asked to select a time and place for graduation and after their research, they recommended May 28 at the Akron Civic Theatre. However, there are scheduling problems with the Civic that weren’t on anyone’s radar.

“When we have availability, like at the Civic, it doesn’t work on our calendar, and when it works on our calendar, we can’t get availability at E.J. Thomas or the Civic,’’ Tefs said. “The high school Class of 2024 would certainly like to be at the Civic, but we just can’t. We’re struggling with the date.”

In addition to problems with the date, Tefs said a construction project next to the Civic on Main Street in Akron would create difficulties with parking and getting in and out of the facility.

The superintendent said there likely is only one alternative.

“I think it’s clear that the Class of 24 will probably be graduating at Revere High School in some manner, shape or form,’’ Tefs said. “We’re looking at either May 13 or June 2.’’

Tefs did not narrow the choice to one date because he said more vetting is necessary.

Inasmuch as the district will not have to pay for an off-campus graduation (about $8,000 at the Civic), board member Claudia Hower suggested that the superintendent and the board make graduation “special’’ by allocating that money for something else, like a fireworks display, assuming commencement ceremonies are at night.

Treasurer Rick Berdine pointed out that holding a fireworks show requires complying with local and state regulations in addition to acquiring appropriate liability insurance coverage.

Hower suggested there might be another way to enhance next year’s graduation.

   Construction update

Board member Diana Sabitsch updated the board on two projects at the high school football stadium.

“It’s [the new stadium entrance] moving along just the way it should be,’’ she said. “There have been a couple of change orders to some of the fencing and some drainage, things like that.’’

New lighting is also in the works for the stadium.

Sabitsch also reported that site work at the new Richfield Elementary playground is finished and grading can begin. Playground equipment is scheduled to arrive between the first and second week of August.

If bad weather does not delay completion of the project, kids can begin using the playground when school opens.

Hower reported on repairs to the middle school roof. “They took out the skylights; that was one of the problems,’’ she said, adding that tearing off the affected portion of the roof would begin Thursday, and that new roofing should be installed before school begins.

Hower also said that two Richfield Elementary hallways are being renovated. Ongoing are installing new flooring and countertops and painting. Replacing the windows in the high school library is complete. ∞