|Updated: 12/10/2013 5:23 pm
||Published: 12/10/2013 3:53 pm
Broken Arrow's Class of 2014 will be the first class of seniors to graduate from Tulsa's BOK Center.
"We are thrilled with our board's approval of this contract moving graduation to the BOK Center," said Superintendent Dr. Jarod Mendenhall. "There are a number of logistical issues that still need to be ironed out, but we expect to have those issues resolved by the time the event arrives in May."
Broken Arrow school officials said one of the primary reasons for this change in venue is seating capacity. For the past few years the graduating class has exceeded the 1,000 mark, and the attendance of students' friends and family members has pushed the limit of the Mabee Center's seating capacity.
"Graduation is the culminating event of a student's high school career, and it is an utter shame that people were turned away from this event in the past," Mendenhall said. "Moving to the BOK Center will increase our seating capacity to almost 16,000, eliminating the need to turn people away at the door. This move will also enable us to go without implementing a ticketing system at this time. "
The Class of 2014 will now graduate from the Tulsa BOK Center on May 22, 2014. This is one week later than what was originally planned.
"If you look at our instructional calendar, we had originally planned to hold graduation at the Mabee Center on May 15," Mendenhall said. "The BOK Center already had an event booked for that date, so we made the decision to push graduation back by exactly one week so that we could move it to this facility."
There are still a number of details to be decided, the most pressing of which is parking.
Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Chuck Perry is leading the committee that will discuss and decide upon these issues and determine how to best communicate them with the public.
"As a committee, we will explore a number of options related to parking such as using buses as shuttles, reserving parking lots, contracting with downtown churches to use their parking lots, etc.," Perry said. "We want to make most of these decisions as soon as possible so that we can communicate the plans and allow people plenty of time to plan."