With the Harry Della Russo Stadium likely out of commission this June, Suffolk Downs has stepped up to the plate to allow this year’s senior class at Revere High School to use the track’s facilities for graduation exercises.
Graduation will be moved to a Thursday this year, away from the traditional Wednesday exercises, to accommodate the move – which is expected to be a one-year only event.
“This all started last year when the kids learned that the Stadium was going to be knocked down during graduation,” said Revere High Senior Class Advisor Joanne McKenna. “The gym is too small and the Field House is suffocating and hot at that time of year. The kids wanted some alternatives. One idea that came up at the time was to approach Suffolk Downs.”
Just last week, Superintendent Paul Dakin and the officials at Suffolk Downs put the frosting on the cake and completed the deal.
“When school officials approached us about the possibility of hosting this year’s graduation ceremony, we welcomed the opportunity,” said Chip Tuttle, chief operating officer at Suffolk Downs. “Fortunately, with our large grandstand and ample parking, our space works well for this type of an event and we are proud to host this special occasion for the City of Revere.”
Dakin said he was glad for the kids and parents to be able to have an exciting location during a transition period for the typical venue, the Stadium.
“I’m pleased they did as much research as they did and got such great results for the parents, kids and staff,” said Dakin. “It’s their day and I think this will be good.”
McKenna said the setup will be that the students will be on the asphalt area in front of the grandstand. They will be on chairs and there will be a custom stage to walk across. Parents and visitors will sit in the Grandstand, protected from the elements.
McKenna said she thanked the track for accommodating the high school and the kids.
“When I told the kids it was approved they were so excited that it would be at Suffolk Downs and not in the Field House,” she said. “Kudos to Suffolk Downs for opening up their place and allowing Revere High School to come in. They were so receptive to us and this will be wonderful.”