fixes grad plan
Tickets designed to prevent counterfeiting
By Bayne Hughes
Austin High School officials plan to avoid a repeat of last year’s graduation problems when about 290 seniors get their diplomas Thursday at Calhoun Community College.
But this year’s ceremony comes with a new issue that Principal Don Snow said those who plan to attend should be aware of when they go to the Calhoun campus.
The college is in the middle of a major construction program that’s eliminated a portion of parking once available at Carlton Kelley Gymnasium.
Snow said the project closed the main entrance in the center of campus, so those attending the 7 p.m. graduation should turn at Airport Road (first traffic light).
Parking will be available in front of and behind the Fine Arts Building and in an open field near the baseball stadium. Police officers will be directing traffic.
Last year, school officials said someone made counterfeit tickets so the 3,200-seat gymnasium became overcrowded, forcing fire officials to close the building and lock some students’ relatives out of the ceremony.
Snow said school officials are getting tickets made for the event that can’t be counterfeited.
Only school officials and ticket takers will know the marking that shows that a ticket is proper.
Graduates got 10 tickets each last year, including two for early entry. Graduates could get a minimum of eight tickets and maximum of 10 depending on the final number qualifying to participate in the ceremony.
Snow said he is waiting on the final grades for some potential graduates.
He is urging spectators to go to Calhoun early. In an effort to make sure as many people as possible get a seat, people won’t be allowed to save large blocks of seats.
“Each student will only have so many tickets for early entry,” Snow said.
“If people want to sit together, they should get there early and arrive together.”
Snow said doors close at 6:55 p.m., and no one will be allowed to enter once the ceremony starts.
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