Farrington High School has a new stadium, but it still won’t be used for graduation.
Last year’s seniors weren’t allowed to graduate on the field, and now the next senior class won’t be able to, either.
Parents want to know why.
“What is the the real reason why the senior class cannot graduate on the field?” Corina Lytle asked.
“We have games there. There’s a lot of people that go to the games. I don’t see what’s the problem,” parent Charlene Lizama added.
The Edward “Skippa” Diaz stadium cost 19.5 million dollars, and was built last school year. The field alone, was 1 million.
Principal Al Carganilla says protecting the turf is a factor.
“Protecting the one million dollar field is something we have to do. A lot of things that go into it. If we had to I would love to have it here. Being the person who makes the decision, it’s difficult and I have to make a decision where everybody is involved,” Carganilla explained.
Carganilla adds other factors into the decision include costs, logistics, and safety.
Carganilla consulted with the stadium contractor to find out what the temperature would be like for spectators watching their graduates on the field.
Graduation ceremony is scheduled for May 26, 2018 starting at 3 p.m.
The contractor said the heat emanating from the field would be at 120 degrees during that time-frame.
“My daughter is a senior here and she wants to graduate on the field, but I have to take consideration everybody. It’s not an easy decision,” said Carganilla.
Farrington High School held an assembly with its graduating seniors to break down costs.
Graduation at the gym will cost $22,500.
Having it at the new stadium would be $37,068.
If the school were to host the ceremony on the field, administration must raise the current student graduation fee from $45 to $74 dollars.
Carganilla says that would be tough for low-income and homeless families.
Another issue is weather.
“The biggest misconception is that it’s so easy to do. We start planning from Wednesday up to the event at Saturday. We’re figuring everything out. The biggest factor is, I cannot control the weather. If it rains, what do we do? (speakers, electrical equipment) that’s money spent. Vendors are already paid months in advance,” Student Activities Coordinator Theresa Schubert said.
When asked if putting a tent on the field to shield graduates from the rain is an option, Schubert replied, “They can, but you can’t see your graduate (from the stands).”
Schubert also said using the gym as a contingency in the event of rain means more added fees to the existing graduation fee.
We checked with other high schools that hold graduation ceremonies at their stadium.
Farrington High School currently has 510 seniors.
In comparison Roosevelt has 300 seniors this year, who each pay $40 dollars for a graduation fee.
Hosting it on their turf field will cost $12,000.
Kapolei has 450 seniors, and have held graduation on their natural-grass field since 2005.
The school hosts fund raisers to raise money to hold the ceremony, which costs $15,000.
An employee at Waipahu High School, which also has a new stadium, said they’re holding graduation at the Neil Blaisdell Center like years past.
Farrington High School says, hosting ceremony at the stadium in the future is still a possibility.