Published Date Written by Adam DrapchoMEREDITH — For the first time in five years, the Inter-Lakes High School graduation will not be held at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford. Instead, the 2013 ceremony will be held at Prescott Park in Meredith on the morning of June 22. Principal Patti Kennelly made the announcement earlier this week.
Inter-Lakes had been holding its graduations at Meadowbrook because the covered, out-door concert venue offered an easy, and cost-effective, solution to many logistical challenges. The facility offered more than enough sheltered seating for guests, was easily accessible for all of those guests, and had plenty of parking. However, Meadowbrook is in the business of putting on concerts, not facilitating high school graduations, and the venue's early-summer schedule filled up without any room left for Inter-Lakes.
To make Prescott Park suitable for a graduation, Kennelly said a stage and seating will be set up underneath a tent measuring 60 feet by 110 feet. Though the district doesn't have to pay Meadowbrook's rental fee, Kennelly said the cost of holding the graduation at Prescott Park, and all of its associated costs, will be about $2,000 more than the district had budgeted for Meadowbrook. Kennelly said she will be able to cover the extra cost from within her budget.
"I'm hoping this is going to be the long-term solution," Kennelly said about the Prescott Park plan. She anticipated that continuing to pursue graduations at Meadowbrook would lead to further headaches. "It just leads to too much uncertainty," she said. Since making the announcement, she said, reactions have been "generally positive."