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BHS Seniors look to save outdoor graduation

Earl Wolleat, the Brainerd School District director of buildings and grounds, with a sample of the flooring product, lying on the table next to him, of what can be used on Don Adamson Field for the Brainerd High School graduation ceremony. The Brainerd School Board Monday learned if chairs on placed on the new artificial turf it would damage it. (Jennifer Stockinger/BrainerdDispatch)

The Brainerd High School class of 2015 is making a last-ditch effort to host its commencement ceremony on Don Adamson Field.

Commencement can't be on the field because chairs set up for the ceremony would void the artificial turf's warranty.

A floating floor product could be overlaid on the field's surface to protect it and still maintain the warranty. However, it would cost $40,000 to purchase enough tiles to cover the footprint of the graduation ceremony.

A motion to purchase the product by the Brainerd School Board Monday failed on a 3-3 vote.

A group of seniors, however, is making a push to raise enough money to purchase the flooring product. Senior Gaby Haire said it's tradition for commencement to be held outdoors and it's more memorable than an indoor ceremony.

"People's families are coming from all over to come and watch people graduate," Haire said. "And there's more people that will be able to sit outside."

"They're not coming to be cramped in the sweaty, stinky gym," senior Jordan Kleist said.

There isn't a local tradition of the senior class making a donation to the school, but Haire said her class had considered it.

"This is something that we'd really love to leave our mark and give it as a gift," Haire said. "Even start a precedent for the other classes to do that."

Those interested in contributing to the cause can make a donation to the Brainerd School District, directed to the senior class fund. Haire said businesses that make a donation will be able to include their name on a sign which will hang on the fence at the field.

"This is the senior class wanting to leave something for the school so we can best utilize the football field," Haire said.

Questions about donating can be directed via email to bhsgradfundraiser2015@gmail.com. This year's graduation ceremony is planned at 7 p.m. June 5.

SPENSER BICKETT may be reached at 855-5859 or spenser.bickett@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/spenserbickett.

Spenser Bickett

Spenser Bickett covers the Brainerd City Council and Brainerd School Board. A native of the Twin Cities, Bickett attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he majored in journalism with a minor in political science. After graduation, he interned for Sun Newspapers in Osseo and later worked for the International Falls Journal as a staff writer.

 
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