Updated on Thursday, May 18 at 2:30 p.m. — Guthrie Public Schools announced on Thursday afternoon that the 2017 Guthrie High School graduation venue has moved locations.
Based on the current forecast of severe weather and heavy rains overnight and into Friday, the Guthrie High School graduation ceremonies, originally scheduled for Jelsma Stadium, will now take place at the Lazy E Arena.
The scheduled starting time will remain 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 19th.
Graduation practice will be at the arena beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday.
On Friday evening, the public will park in the southwest parking lot and enter through the southwest doors. The building will be open to the public at 6:00 p.m.
“We are thankful for the option of an indoor graduation venue that will not limit the number of potential attendees,” Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpsonsaid. “This is what the class of 2017 deserves to celebrate their accomplishments.”
In light of the current weather outlook for the remainder of this week, a contingency plan has been developed which will assure graduates and families that commencement exercises will occur on Friday evening as scheduled.
In the event that currently forecasted rainfall makes the outdoor option of Jelsma Stadium questionable, the Lazy E Arena has been secured for Friday evening. The start time will remain 7:30 p.m. regardless of the location. This will allow graduates and their families to attend at the scheduled time. Movement to another venue would necessitate limiting the number of family members allowed to attend.
“We began exploring this option last year and Mother Nature cooperated,” Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson said. “Having anything outdoors in Oklahoma during the spring can be problematic if a large crowd is expected.”
Simpson went on to say that the past practice has been to move the ceremony to Saturday and if Jelsma Stadium is still unavailable the High School Gym would be utilized. However, Simpson that comes with a major setback.
“That scenario would require a limit of two attendees per student. I don’t consider that to be a viable option, especially if the Lazy E Arena is available.”
A final decision will be reached late Thursday based on the most up‐to‐date forecast so the venue chosen may be properly prepared during the day on Friday.
“On Monday morning, we began discussions with them about options that might exist. I appreciate the support and cooperation from the Lazy E staff, they are wonderful community minded supporters.
The Lazy E Arena was the site of GHS commencement exercises for many years but has not been used since the class of 2005 graduated.