Kates construction forces change in backup location

By Glenn Battishill

It was announced earlier this year that Kates Gymnasium would be getting a much needed renovation. Kates will be getting new bleachers, lights and a new floor as well as many other essential updates. However, these renovations have left the spring commencement planning committee in a jam while they try to figure where to have the May 11 ceremony in the event of rain since Kates has always been the backup commencement location.

Steve Hannan, director of public relations at Ashland University, has been helping to plan commencement and believes they have reached a solution.

If weather is pleasant, commencement will be held at the Schar athletic complex and graduating students will line up at the soccer field.

However, if it rains before or during the ceremony the graduating students will be split into two groups.

Graduating undergraduate students will have their ceremony in Upper Convo and will line up in the halls and the Heritage Room. Grad students will meet in Center for the Arts to have their ceremony in Hugo Young Theater.

If the university has to go with this plan, then students would only be allowed to have three tickets to move the commencement speaker, invocator and the choir to Upper Convo where they would perform their normal duties. The university would have a live video stream going from Upper Convo to Hugo Young.

“It’ll be a full room but it will work,” Hannan said. “We are just hoping for good weather.”

These plans also accommodate for the luncheon, which would have to be moved indoors. The back-up plan splits undergraduates into two groups with different colored meal tickets. One group would eat in Lower Convo and the other would eat on the courts in the Rec Center. The graduate students would have their luncheon in Redwood Hall.

“It’s a good alternative,” Hannan said. “It’ll be different but with Kates being renovated we don’t really have a choice.”