As a senior at Hermiston High School I am very concerned with were to hold graduation, whether it be local or out of town. Three options have been making the rounds; Kenison Field, EOTEC Arena, and the Toyota Center. The football field still has the same issue of limited seating that the Purple Gym has, as it only adds about 200 extra seats, and it adds the issue of unpredictability with the weather. The EOTEC arena has the major issue of cost as well as the unpredictability of weather. This unpredictability of weather forces the district to prepare the gym anyway, as if graduation was being held there, just in case, which costs upwards of $10,000 (and if it is decided that graduation will be held at EOTEC, this $10,000 will be on top of the already staggering $35,000 per year to use the arena).

I see the Toyota Center as the only viable option at this time. I am concerned that we are letting emotion drive this decision, or indecisiveness, instead of logic. The longer we put off this decision, the harder it will be to book any of these options. I would like to know when, and where, graduation is going to be held. I would like to know that my family is going to be able to come enjoy seeing the accomplishments I have made. I would like to know that, no matter the weather, we have a venue that will accommodate the size of the graduating class of 2018, and a facility that will be able to accommodate the size of graduating classes in the future. I also would like to know that those who are sensitive to the sun, wind, and extreme heat, as much of my family is, will be able to attend the ceremony, and if the EOTEC arena is chosen, I do not see this being the case. Most of all I would like everyone involved in making this decision to take a step back, remove all emotion currently invested into the situation, and look purely at the facts. We will have Hermiston pride no matter where graduation is held.

Hermiston pride isn’t about the venue, it is about the people. We have to remember, this is ultimately about congratulating the graduates for their accomplishments, and this needs to be kept in mind when making the final decision.

Noah Roberts

Senior from the Class of 2018

Hermiston, Oregon

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