Delay in field resurfacing impacts graduation location

Underground water found during turf replacement project


Charlotte Nicks

Left side of the field torn up as a result of the water discovery.

Earlier this month, during the resurfacing of the athletic field and track, subterranean water was discovered under the field, creating a delay in field completion. The project was originally slated to be completed in advance of graduation.

“As a result, the Graduation will be shifted to a new location,” Assistant Principal Jason Meskis and Oak Park Independent School Principal Kent Cromwell wrote in a Parent Square and Student Square post

However, the events of graduation will remain the same, with both parent and student input in the decision-making process. 

“Our priority is to offer an event for our students that is beautiful, intimate, and memorable,” Meskis and Cromwell wrote. 

Graduation will still be held on Wednesday, May 26, with an earlier start time of 5:30 p.m. However, because of the construction delay, it will now be held at the OPHS baseball field. 

While the news of the change in venue was disappointing for senior Prinaka Drona, she believes the school is handling the situation as well as they can.

“I wasn’t too excited because I love our original graduation spot and I love the idea of all Oak Park alumni graduating from the same place,” Drona wrote to the Talon. “I think it’s a great replacement but I would much prefer it if it was at the football field.”

According to the most recent post, the new venue will accommodate the same number of graduates and guests as was originally planned for the high school athletic field.

“Seating, which will include field-level chairs as well as multiple sets of bleachers, will allow for optimal viewing by attendees.  In addition, the event will be livestreamed for family and friends at home. We look forward to celebrating the OPHS and OPIS Class of 2021!,” Meskis wrote in a follow-up Parent Square and StudentSquare post