Like many other high school seniors, my commencement ceremony took place in our stuffy, overcrowded school gymnasium. But size issues force large graduating classes from high schools like Carmel and North Central to move to bigger venues for graduation. This year, the Pepsi Coliseum hosted graduation for nine Indianapolis high schools.
Kelsey Hall, a 2012 Lawrence Central graduate, said the Coliseum allowed her graduation to be spacious and organized.
“The Pepsi Coliseum is great because there is more than enough room for family and friends to attend,” Hall said. “I don’t think my graduation would have gone as smoothly if we were crammed into our gym.”
However, the graduation traditions of these high schools will be put on hold for the next two years as the Fairgrounds begins the renovation process of the 73-year-old Pepsi Coliseum this October. Don’t worry; the Coliseum will maintain its traditional outside appearance, while the entire inside will be gutted and transformed making it modernized and more visitor-friendly. The renovation will be complete in time for the 2014 State Fair.
Fortunately, The Fairgrounds is making sure everyone still has a home for graduation. Not wanting to cause any extra work for high school administrators, Fairgrounds staff members took the reigns and began making commencement arrangements several months ago for each school. Due to the Fairgrounds partnership with the Indiana Convention and Visitors Association, most schools are expected to head downtown to use the Indiana Convention Center.
Before then, three more high schools will be showing up at the Fairgrounds in cap and gown. Keep in mind seniors, you are a part the last classes to graduate from the original Pepsi Coliseum!
On May 24 Carmel was the first high school to hold its last commencement ceremony at the original Pepsi Coliseum.