School board approves agreement to host graduations at World Equestrian Center

World Equestrian Center

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Posted May 11, 2022 | By Caroline Brauchler

The Marion County School District approved an agreement to shell out $9,300 on Tuesday to fund the hosting of the Dunnellon, Forest and West Port High schools’ graduation ceremonies this academic year.

“Last year we had all of our graduation ceremonies at the World Equestrian Center, because it’s the largest venue,” said School Board Vice-Chair Allison Campbell. “This year we gave our high school principals the opportunity to determine what would be best for their graduating classes.

Formerly hosted at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion or at the respective high schools, the commencement ceremony at the WEC holds a much higher price tag. Hosting graduation on the high schools’ football fields is free of cost, and hosting at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion costs about $800, according to Kevin Christian, the school board’s director of public relations.

The $9,300 price tag to rent the WEC, provided by district funds, will allow the three high schools to take advantage of the ample seating and space as students walk across the state to receive their high school diplomas on May 20 and 21.

“Forest and West Port, our two largest high schools chose to come to World Equestrian Center again,” said Campbell. “Dunnellon did as well, because it is a good venue and not too far away.”