Students in both Oswego high schools will have to drive a little farther to get to graduation next year, but they’ll be able to invite more of their family and friends to attend.
On Monday, the District 308 board unanimously chose the convocation center at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb as the site of the 2013 graduation. The convocation center seats 10,000 and has parking for 3,000 cars, offering a sizeable increase over the high schools themselves, where graduations have traditionally been held.
The total cost of renting NIU's center would be $11,674, which includes labor costs, online streaming of the ceremony, and production of tickets. That is down slightly from the $12,000 is currently costs to hold graduations at both high schools, according to district officials.
The new venue will allow each student at least 10 tickets for family members and friends, according to Kristine Liptrot, the district’s director of communications. At the high schools, those tickets are limited, and even more so if it rains, as it did for Oswego High’s graduation in 2011.
The two graduations would remain separate, Liptrot said, but would likely occur on the same day.
District staff considered several other options for graduation sites, including North Central College in Naperville, Aurora University and the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. The largest of those, the Paramount, can seat 1,800, which would not offer an increase in capacity, officials said.
The contract with NIU would be for one year, and if the arrangements aren’t satisfactory, the board can choose another location for 2014.
This story has been updated with the cost of renting the NIU center.