By Lonnie Huhman,

Dexter Community Schools is planning to change its graduation/commencement ceremony venue.

But not until 2021.


Over the past month or so, the DCS Board of Education took a look at changing the venue from Dexter High School to Hill Auditorium on the campus of The University of Michigan.

However, for the upcoming ceremony at the end of 2019-2020 school year, DCS would not be able to get it for the traditional Sunday ceremony, but rather it could reserve it for Friday.

That potential change in day led the school board to keep it at DHS one more time before heading to the bigger place at Hill when DCS would be able to reserve the space for the more desirable time.

The consensus out of the Aug. 26 school board meeting was that because of the timing of some competitions for certain varsity sports teams, it would be better to wait so the student athletes don’t have to make a tough decision or be left out.

DCS Superintendent Chris Timmis said the following athletic teams may have events that week: baseball, softball, and girls’ soccer are all in districts; boys’ golf and girls’ lacrosse are in regionals; boys’ and girls’ track and girls’ tennis have finals that weekend.

“I would be reticent to make the move to Friday and impact the students who might be competing in different athletic events,” school board member Julie Schumaker said.

She said both events are probably regarded as capstone ones for those students and she, like the rest of the school board, would hate to create a difficult scheduling situation.

However, she and the other board members do in time support changing the venue, most likely for the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

The topic came to the forefront when Dexter High School officials reported to the board there have been ongoing issues with the high school as the venue.

“The crowds at the ceremony have grown and we no longer have the capacity to provide seats and/or parking spaces for all who attend,” DHS officials said.

They concluded their report to the board by saying, “The DHS Administration feels the time is right to change our venue for the Dexter High School Commencement Ceremony. We honor and recognize the long-standing traditions at Dexter, one of which is to hold our commencement ceremony in our own facility. However, we have come to a point in time where our inability to provide a comfortable area for friends and family to watch their graduate at commencement is impeding the experience that this culminating, celebratory occasion should create.”