UPDATE: BHS Graduation to be held indoors
Due to the inclement weather, the 121st annual commencement exercises for Brainerd High School's Class of 2008 will be held indoors in the BHS gym, the Brainerd School District announced Thursday morning.
The district noted that tonight's ceremony will be the largest in recent history and gymnasium seating will be maximized. Overflow seating will be available in the gymnastics gym and the BHS choir room and as an additional courtesy, the ceremony will be televised through a live broadcast on Consolidated and Charter cable channels 8 and 15.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. Thursday. Handicapped seating is available but must have been prearranged on the gymnasium's main floor. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m.
Make sure to bring an umbrella if you're planning to attend Brainerd High School's graduation ceremonies Thursday night.
BHS Principal Erich Heise said Wednesday that unless there is a forecast of severe weather, graduation will be outside at Adamson Field, rain or shine. As of Wednesday there was a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms for Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
Heise said he will make a final decision before noon Thursday about whether graduation will be on Adamson Field or if the ceremony will be moved into the gym. Graduation is planned for 7 p.m.
"We are all hopeful we can do it outside, but the contingency plan is the same as always, if severe weather is likely we'll have to go in the gym," said Heise.
But if the ceremony was indoors it would pose additional problems. There are expected to be about 4,000 people at Thursday's ceremony, including the 555 graduating seniors who will walk together for the last time as the Class of 2008. The BHS gym has just under 3,000 seats at capacity so not everyone planning to be there would be able to attend the ceremony indoors.
When the Dispatch learns of the final decision about the location of graduation Thursday, that information will be posted immediately online at www.brainerddispatch.com.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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