Commencement to be held in gym

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This May 1, 2017, photo shows Toshi Nakasone Field will be nowhere near completion in time for graduation.

by Hoku Sabanal

The school year is coming to an end which means graduation time. The Waialua High School Senior Class of 2017 will be graduating on May 20th, but the ceremony will start at 5:30pm in the school gymnasium and NOT on Toshi Nakasone Field.

Graduating seniors will on the gym stage during the commencement ceremony.  Seating on the floor will be only for reserve ticket holders. 

For those attending the graduation ceremony, the people who received senior reserved seating tickets will be on the court, while the bleachers will be open to everyone on a first-come, first-serve basis. In addition, there will be standing room for those who aren’t able to get a seat on the bleachers. After the ceremony, you will be able to give lei to the graduates on the football practice field, behind the bleacher area in front of the boy’s locker rooms.

This year’s graduation will not be held on the field because it is still under renovation and will not be done by graduation. Vice-Principal Ryan Ishimoto explained that the process is taking longer than expected is because of the weather. He said that the field was in the process of getting done in time for graduation, but the weather in Waialua did not cooperate and hit a major rainstorm during the ending of last year.

“What happened was they were taking our soil, ripping it out, and throwing it in a ‘feeder’. It sifts the soil so there were big chunks which is turned it into fine dirt. They brought in sand, top soil, and mixed them together, but they just weren’t able to do it because the soil was too soaked,” Ishimoto said. This stopped the working period for a couple weeks then a couple weeks would pass and rain again stopped the process.

Bleacher seating will be on a first come, first serve basis. “Big Ass Fans” (actual name of the manufacturer) are being installed for heat abatement.

“Weather was the main reason why the process is taking longer than expected, there weren’t any certain setbacks, it was just ‘Mother Nature’ not cooperating and all the downpours where they were trying to sift out the dirt,” Ishimoto explained. They are hoping the field will be done by June and there won’t be any more setbacks.

Cody Miyataki, a senior this year and president of the Class of 2017 stated, “I was pretty mad and upset because we were told time and time again that the field would be ready. I feel that the tradition for the other classes was to have it outside and I didn’t want to have it in the gym, but we were able to compromise.” The seniors didn’t take the news all too well, but they have learned to accept it and are trying to make their graduation as memorable as it can be. The process was strained and difficult.

Class of 2017 President Cody Miyatake

“I created a plan for both the baseball field and the gym – that way we had an alternative because we really wanted it outside. From there, we created a graduation committee with the administration, our class officers, and everyone else directly involved with graduation. We sat down in a meeting and discussed the pros and cons of the gym and the baseball field which led us to a decision of having the graduation held inside of the gym,” Cody explained.

No matter the setting, the seniors are going to make the best of the situation and ensure that their graduation something they will always remember as something different and special.

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