School officials envision more
comfort for grads and guests
ALMONT — On Sunday, May 31 at 5 p.m., school bells will again be heard ringing at Almont’s former elementary school at 401 Church Street.
In a symbolic gesture, this year’s Almont High School graduates will celebrate their commencement exercises at The Bells, formerly the old Almont Elementary School.
Moving the traditional ceremony from the high school to The Bells will also have sentimental significance for members of the Class of 2020.
High School Principal Liz Gallagher notes that this year’s graduates represent the last group of students to have attended the old elementary.
Before this year, Almont’s graduation ceremonies had routinely been scheduled to take place outdoors at the high school football field.
However, threatening weather conditions in recent years forced school officials to move the ceremony inside the high school’s ‘toasty’ gymnasium.
Gallagher says there are some obvious advantages to moving the event to The Bells’ newly-renovated banquet center. Not the least of which is the presence of air-conditioning.
Typically, upwards of 700 or more parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and family members attend graduation ceremonies, which has resulted in cramped and uncomfortably warm conditions for those inside the high school’s gymnasium.
“It’s so hot in this gymnasium at the high school,” says Gallagher. “Not only for the invited family members, but for our graduates and staff who are attired in the traditional robes.
“The Bells is a great option for us not only because of the air conditioning,” she says. “They have sufficient bleacher seating, along with softer, more comfortable banquet chairs and spacious restrooms.”
She adds there is superior handicap access at The Bells, as well as ample parking for what is expected to be another large graduation day turnout.
Gallagher notes that each 2020 graduate will receive four “preferred seating” tickets to disperse among family and friends in advance of the ceremony.
She says doors will open at The Bells at 3:30 p.m. to allow entry for preferred seating.
“At this time, those with tickets will be able to choose their seats,” Gallagher says. “All other seating will be available on a first-come first-served basis; with graduation to begin promptly at 5 p.m.”