All Maine District 207 schools graduating same day at Rosemont Theatre
For the first time, all three Maine Township High School District 207 schools will have graduation ceremonies on the same day and at the same venue, officials say.
Students will receive their diplomas at the Rosemont Theatre on Sunday, May 22, with Maine South's ceremony beginning at noon, Maine East at 3:30 p.m. and Maine West at 7 p.m.
While Maine South and East have had their commencement exercises at the Rosemont Theatre for several years, the tradition at West has been to have graduation on the football field, or inside the gym if it rains.
Last year, West, too, had its graduation at the Rosemont Theatre, due to a gymnasium expansion project.
That 23,000-square-foot gym addition officially opened to students returning from winter break this week, but it doesn't mean graduation will return to Maine West's campus anytime soon.
Mary Kalou, the district's assistant superintendent for business, said it cost $20,000 to rent chairs, a sound system, and install staging for the Maine West ceremony. And she said the district is saving $12,000 by negotiating one contract for three ceremonies on the same day.
The school board Monday is expected to vote on the $63,000 agreement, which includes the cost of a camera, cameraman, projector and screen.
That's slightly cheaper, but still a comparable cost, to the quote the district received from the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates a few years ago, officials said.
Superintendent Ken Wallace said Rosemont won't do a multiyear contract to rent the theater for graduations because of talk the venue could be demolished one day if the nearby Fashion Outlets of Chicago mall is expanded.
Rosemont officials first publicly discussed that possibility in May 2015.