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updated: 8/28/2013 9:50 AM

Mundelein High School moving graduation to Sears Centre

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  • Mundelein High School's commencement ceremony will move to the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates in 2014.

      Mundelein High School's commencement ceremony will move to the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates in 2014.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer 2009


Members of Mundelein High School's Class of 2014 will collect their diplomas at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, a first for the school.

Commencement ceremonies were held at the Libertyville Sports Complex this spring and in 2012.

The school board approved the venue change Tuesday night without objection.

Officials sought a new site for the graduation ceremony after receiving complaints about parking, traffic management, poor sound and other issues, Superintendent Jody Ware said.

Before going to the sports complex, Mundelein High's previous graduation sites included the school itself, the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake and Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church in Lake Zurich.

A committee studied six possible sites:

• The Sears Centre.

• The sports complex.

• The Lake County Fairgrounds.

• The Genesee Theatre in Waukegan.

• Ravinia Festival in Highland Park.

• Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington.

The group got feedback from parents of current seniors and past graduates, Ware said.

Although it's further away from Mundelein than the sports complex, officials say the Sears Centre has many positive attributes, including an unlimited number of tickets per student, a professional sound system and better sight lines.

Other venues' sizes limited the number of tickets each student could get for relatives. For example, the sports complex limited each graduate to six tickets.

School officials asked parents if traveling to Hoffman Estates would be problematic, Ware said.

"They said absolutely not," Ware told the Daily Herald in an email. "This is a very important event in their lives and their child's life."

Renting the Sears Centre for the day will cost much more than any of the other venues considered. Site rental is $32,500 there, whereas the sports complex rental cost $9,680 earlier this year, according to district documents.

The district's contract with the Sears Centre is for the 2014 ceremony only. It will be evaluated annually, Ware said.

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