The Hermiston School Board will vote Monday on moving high school graduation to a new venue. An agenda published on the district website Friday states that interim superintendent Tricia Mooney will recommend to the board that they approve moving graduation to the Toyota Center in Kennewick for the June 2018 ceremony. The statement also requests that district administrators review the event after one year, and look for potential options within Hermiston for graduation in 2019.
The potential of a new graduation venue has been discussed for the past several months, as this year’s graduation ceremony revealed that the student population has outgrown the traditional venue of the Hermiston High School gymnasium. Options discussed at previous meetings were the Toyota Center, Kennison Field or the EOTEC rodeo arena.
Community members were encouraged to participate in a survey in August, discussing their thoughts on where graduation should be held. At the board’s work session in late August, it was revealed that EOTEC was the most popular option among the 859 people who responded to the survey, with 46 percent of respondents in favor of that venue. The Toyota Center drew mixed responses from those surveyed, with 36 percent in support of the location, but 37 percent against it.