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Hernando County schools plan indoor graduations next year to avoid rain

BROOKSVILLE — After a year of graduations doused and delayed by rain, most Hernando County high schools will forgo dealing with the weather and move their next ceremonies to an indoor venue.

The 2013-14 graduation graduations for Central High School, Weeki Wachee High and Hernando High will all be held indoors at the Grace World Outreach Church in Brooksville, according to a recently approved list of graduation dates.

Hernando High initially planned to hold its graduation ceremony at the school, but changed after this year's ceremony was hit by heavy rain and cut short due to nearby lightning, angering many in the crowd.

Springstead High will once again first try to hold its ceremony outside at its stadium. Unlike last year, school officials scheduled an indoor rain date, avoiding the issue that bad weather could delay two outdoor ceremonies. That ceremony also would be held at Grace World.

Springstead principal Susan Duval said it was a tough decision.

"We've always had it at the school," she said. "Our kids and our parents overwhelmingly wanted to have it at the school. This is their home. This has been their place for four years."

Another issue with the indoor venue, Duval said: Size.

"It doesn't hold nearly as many people as our stadium."

Duval estimated it would hold about 500 fewer guests

Nature Coast Technical High School principal Toni-Ann Noyes says the school has reserved Grace World for its graduation, but has not yet put money down. She said she will run options by parents in September and get their input before making a decision.

"Ultimately, my class likes to have it at the stadium," she said. "The students look forward to every year being in the venue that we had it in the past 10 years."

The indoor ceremony would cost more, up to $2,500 from the senior class fund, and would be smaller, she said.

Danny Valentine can be reached at dvalentine@tampabay.com or (352)848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

Hernando County schools plan indoor graduations next year to avoid rain 07/03/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 10:36pm]
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