In 2014, the Hillsborough High School graduation may not be in Hillsborough.
Instead, commencement may be 24 miles away in Trenton at the Sun National Bank Arena.
That’s the recommendation of the school board’s operations committee which had studied the possibility of alternate sites for graduation for two years, board member Greg Gillette said at Monday’s meeting.
In recent years, the school district has been cursed with inclement and extreme weather conditions, Gillette said. But the district could not accommodate moving the ceremony inside because of the size of the graduating class (about 600 students) and the number of relatives and friends, he added.
Gillette said the district explored multiple options to try and keep the graduation at the high school, but moving it to an arena may be the best option.
The auditorium and stage at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg is not large enough to accommodate Hillsborough, Gillette said, and the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway is already booked for years in advance.
The Sun National Bank Arena, at 81 Hamilton Ave. in Trenton, has a capacity of 8,500.
The arena is hosting 13 graduations this year, including Franklin and East Brunswick. On three days, two graduations are scheduled at the arena, with once ceremony during the day and one in the evening.
Though no final vote on moving graduation has been taken and no contract has been signed, Gillette said the cost of having commencement at the arena may be comparable to the cost of having graduation at the high school. The cost of rentals and labor are the primary cost factors of graduation at the high school, he said.
Superintendent of Schools Jorden Schiff said students would be responsible for transportation to the arena, but they would be transported from the arena by Project Graduation buses.