Burroughs High School seniors will graduate from Memorial Field in May after pushing for a return to the traditional site, officials confirmed this week.
“’Relieved’ is a good word,” said senior Austin Ross. “Everyone I have talked to is really glad it is back at our school.”
Special efforts will be made to protect the new track and field, Principal Emilio Urioste said in an email.
“The school site council discussed and investigated the matter thoroughly,” Urioste said. “We will be able to bring in the structures needed to support having the ceremony and make sure that the integrity of the field is not compromised.”
The Burroughs commencement ceremony took place at Memorial Field for decades before being moved to the Starlight Bowl in 2011 amid the $12.7-million overhaul of the athletic facility. With construction scheduled to be finished in spring 2012, this year’s seniors expected to graduate on their home turf.
But in August, school officials announced the ceremony would remain at the Starlight Bowl, which also hosts the Burbank High School graduation.
Having both high schools graduate from the same location would allow the district to streamline logistics, including sound system equipment and security, said Urioste, adding that the Starlight Bowl offers more sophisticated setting.
And then there were the concerns about protecting the integrity of the new track and field at Memorial Field.
But some student leaders, including members of student government and Junior Statesmen of America, objected and asked the administration to further research its options.
“They were definitely open to listening to us rather than just saying ‘no’ right away,” Ross said. “They actually heard out our concerns and ran the numbers, and it ended up working out.”
A 12-member school site council decided to rent protective covering for the track and portable flooring to protect Memorial Field, council student representative and chairman Alan Kosgeryan said.
“I think overall everyone is happy with the decision the site council made,” Kosgeryan said. “I didn’t hear any complaints from anyone.”
-- Megan O’Neil, Times Community News