The Minden High School seniors of 2016 will take a major step into the next phase of their lives as they graduate Friday, but several changes have been made even as the ceremony will still take place at The Pit.

Principal Robin Tucker is asking families and friends of graduates to be patient as this year’s graduation will be different.

“We’re going to need everyone to be patient and cooperative so that we can do all that we can to make this a pleasant experience for the class of 2016,” she said.

Graduation at The Pit almost didn’t happen this year, as the home side of the stadium and boys’ gymnasium was condemned following the March flooding. At first, the school was going to follow its backup “rainy day” plan and hold the ceremony in the school’s gymnasium with overflow into the auditorium with a live feed of the ceremony.

After an outcry from students and parents, a vote was taken at the school and it was decided to move the graduation ceremony back to The Pit – except it will take place on the visitors’ side.

She says gates will open at 5 p.m., and all guests should enter the Ash Street entrance on the visitor’s side of The Pit. Families and friends of graduates will be directed as to where to sit, and due to limited seating, guests will not be allowed to save seats.

“Guests are encouraged to come together if this is an important concern for them,” she said. “The stadium seats will be filled first, and there will be a progression of seating by section following stadium/bleacher seats.”

Additional chairs will be on the field for guests. Tucker says guests do not need to bring their own chairs, and if they do, they will be asked to return them to their vehicles.

Guests are also asked not to bring umbrellas for shade or balloons for gifts due to limited seating and visibility.

For those graduates who have handicapped guests, those names have already been submitted, she said.

“Parking will be limited as always,” Tucker said. “Guests are encouraged to carpool to the field if at all possible. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and support during this time. We are looking forward to a great ceremony for the class of 2016.”

Graduation will begin promptly at 7 p.m.

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