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Graduation site votes tallied today

May 05, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

Seniors at Chambersburg Area Senior High School should know this afternoon whether their graduation ceremony will be held at Trojan Stadium or Shippensburg (Pa.) University's Heiges Field House.

Seniors voted Wednesday morning at the high school on where to hold the June 7 graduation, but Principal Barry Purvis said seniors attending the Franklin County Career and Technology Center will vote today, along with students who were absent Wednesday.

"It's going to be closer than people think," Purvis said Wednesday. He said he did not know how the voting went at the school Wednesday and that "the kids are going to count the votes tomorrow."

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The senior class has about 525 students, including 100 or more who are attending the career and technology center this semester, Purvis said.

"We took a poll in my eighth-period yearbook class," said Becky Brensinger, president of the student government and treasurer of the senior class. Of those students, she said 13 voted for Trojan Stadium and 13 for Shippensburg University.

Talking to students throughout the day, however, Brensinger said she got the feeling the vote will be close.

"I voted for the football field. ... I'm praying it doesn't rain and it's outside, and we can see the sunset," she said.

The students were given a choice after the grandstands at Trojan Stadium were ordered closed in March for safety reasons when a bleacher footboard broke during a track meet. The school board's Buildings and Grounds Committee has recommended tearing down the 50-year-old home bleachers and repairing the visitors' stands for next football season until a decision is made about the future of the stadium.

Several dozen seniors walked out of classes late last month in protest of proposals to hold graduation away from Trojan Stadium. Last week, 18 senior representatives met with high school officials to discuss the issue, although Purvis said the meeting was not prompted by the protest.

At that meeting, the students were evenly divided between Trojan Stadium and Shippensburg University, Purvis said.

Regardless of which venue students approve, each will be given five tickets for family and friends to attend the ceremony. If they vote for Trojan Stadium, seats will be set up on the playing field for graduates, faculty, staff and guests.

If it rains, however, the ceremony will be moved into the high school gymnasium. The students will be allowed three tickets for family members in the gym and two for the auditorium, where the ceremony will be shown on closed-circuit television.

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