Sun Dome Graduations Might be Out for Hillsborough

The Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall is the school board’s venue of choice.


High school students who have been dreaming of collecting their diplomas at the newly renovated University of South Florida Sun Dome in the coming years just might have to keep dreaming.

The Hillsborough County School Board is leaning toward keeping all high school graduations at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall. In years past, graduations were split between the two venues, but the at the Sun Dome forced all ceremonies into the Expo Hall for the last two years.

The arrangement, board members say, has worked well and saved the district about $43,000 this year alone.

According to The Tampa Tribune, the cost savings coupled with a seemingly better design at the Expo Hall are making the board lean toward the possibility of maintaining the status quo despite the planned Sept. 14 grand reopening of the Sun Dome.

"For one thing, I think Expo Hall lends itself much better to our parents' involvement," The Tribune quoted board member Jack Lamb as saying. "Just by the layout, they are a lot closer. They felt much more a part of the whole thing."

What do you think? Should the school board keep graduations at the Expo Hall or go back to the Sun Dome/Expo Hall split? Let us know in the comments section.

Rebecca Armstrong June 18, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Well, if folks do not Mind stepping/sloshing through the MUD out in the parking area then have at it! Never mind that the security/sheriffs do NOT aide the attendees for a smooth transition OUT of the Mud hole. We literally sat, in the rain, in our vehicles for 35 minutes BEFORE one single car moved due to the clowns that had blocked the way, and no one to instruct them to get out of the way and into their vehicles. Yes, the fists were ready to go, this after a puny graduation class of almost 400. Hence, not a ton of folks to start with! If they get this kink worked out along with the horrible lighting, it'll be just 'fine' for the high school-ers. Hats off to FINALLY working it out where the graduates enter/exit QUICKLY through BOTH the front and back of the stage! That REALLY worked out wonderfully, as the families/friends YELLED out for the graduates with decorum, of course. Ha-ha!!
Kevin Banks June 18, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I must echo the same comments as Kim. In addition, exiting the facility at the fair ground was dangerous as we funneled through the limited exit doors at night. There were no ushers to direct the crowds accordingly. Lastly, it was raining and the parking area was very muddy! Go Back to the Sun Dome! Its inspiring for the students to think they could be graduating from USF or another college or university in the future. By the way I was also disappointed that no one form the superintendants office was in attendance at the graduation. Isnt this about the students!
Ron Matz June 18, 2012 at 07:29 PM
To go along with the rest of the complaints is the cash only for parking that the State of Floeida is to hungry for. Also is for the Student having to pay to attent]d their own Graduation
Kelly King June 02, 2014 at 11:51 AM
This is not a venue up to the standards of the Hills Co school system.


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