ELKHART — Elkhart Independent School District officials have officially moved graduation drills to the Lakeview Methodist Conference Center in light of recent findings regarding the safety of seating structures at Jerry Ives Memorial Stadium.
Elkhart Superintendent Dr. Lamont Smith released a statement regarding the situation.
“It was brought to my attention that the bleachers at the stadium were unsafe,” Smith said. “After hearing the comment, I felt the need to have them professionally inspected. I hoped the inspection results would resolve the issue and possibly provide a list of minor repairs that could be addressed quickly and efficiently. appropriate, so that the institution is ready to welcome our community as we come together to celebrate our graduates.
Unfortunately, the results of the inspection came to a shocking conclusion.
“When I received the inspection report, it stated that our stadium bleachers were unsafe and beyond repair,” Smith said. “In fact, the steel expert said he should be sentenced. We asked for additional opinions and received the same result: our stadium bleachers are not safe to use without major repairs. »
Rather than risk the safety of students and the community, the decision was made to move the graduation ceremony to Lakeview Methodist Copeland Center. The facility is air conditioned and has adequate seating.
The graduation ceremony will remain as originally scheduled for 8 p.m. on May 27.
Lakeview Methodist Conference Center is located at 400 Private Rd 6036 in Palestine with the main entrance located on Highway 294, west of the town of Elkhart.
Smith recognizes the challenges ahead.
“We are discussing how these findings may impact our 2022 football/group and joy seasons,” Smith said. “We need short and long term plans to meet this incredible need and I will work with our EISD team to determine options.”