New estimates for the cost of reserving Kansas University's Allen Fieldhouse now make it an attractive backup site for Lawrence High School graduation ceremonies should inclement weather cancel an outdoor commencement.
That was the report of LHS Principal Brad Tate on Thursday when he spoke to Lawrence school board members.
Earlier this year, Tate had been told by KU officials that it would cost the district about $5,000 to reserve the fieldhouse. The cost to the district had been considerably lower in previous years because KU also had reserved the fieldhouse as a backup commencement site. However, with KU not planning to reserve the site this year, the school district learned it would have to foot the entire bill for preparing the fieldhouse for graduation ceremonies.
That news moved the board in February to tentatively agree to reserve KU's Hoch Auditorium, which would have cost about $500 to reserve but would have offered much less seating.
Tate reported Thursday that the estimated cost of reserving the fieldhouse had dropped to about $1,070. He said the lower cost was largely because the district wouldn't have to pay to take up the fieldhouse basketball floor. The floor has already been taken up.
Tate recommended the graduation ceremony be scheduled for 7:30 p.m. May 26 at KU's Memorial Stadium and relocated to the fieldhouse in case of inclement weather. The board took no action on the recommendation Thursday.
Tate said that in the last 16 years, it has never rained at commencement time, but the ceremony has been moved indoors five times because of the threat of bad weather.