Some Rutherford County residents are concerned over high school graduations being held in neighboring Williamson County. WGNS checked into this issue with the Rutherford County Schools and found that the graduations were not going to be held in Rutherford County because of a lack of space, according to the schools.
James Evans with the county school system stated in an email, “It basically comes down to the fact that there are no facilities available in Rutherford County large enough to accommodate the large high schools and the number of guests they have for graduation.” Evans is the Community Relations Coordinator. He said that some schools have as many as 500-seniors with up to 15-guest attending ceremonies. To make matters more confusing, the county schools were told last spring that the Murphy Center would not be available this year because of renovations. The new Embassy Suites and Conference Center in Murfreesboro has a large ballroom, but it only holds 2,800 guest. If each student in a 500 count graduating class had an average of 7-family members attend, that would add up to 3,500 guests. Local high school principals then put a committee together and began searching for venues. No other venues inside Rutherford County were suitable for a graduation and so they had no choice but to look elsewhere.
Evans said, “Some people have asked about us holding outdoor graduations on our football fields, but they too are not large enough to seat that many people on the home side and then there’s also the chance of weather issues.” The principals did not want to put students in the position of having to issue a limited number of tickets to their families for graduation and so the site in Williamson County was selected for one year. Evans further suggested, “We hope to be back at Murphy Center next graduation. We too prefer to be in Rutherford County.”
James Evans, Community Relations Coordinator
for the Rutherford County Schools