Graduation ceremonies planned at Red Rocks moved indoors

Posted at 7:26 PM, May 18, 2017

GOLDEN, Colo. -- Several area high schools had to scramble to find alternate venues for their graduation ceremonies Thursday, after a fierce winter storm left Red Rocks Amphitheater covered with wind driven snow.

Three Jefferson County high schools had ceremonies planned at the iconic venue Thursday evening: 

  • Green Mountain moved its ceremonies indoors to the high school gym.
  • Bear Creek moved it's commencement to the Denver Coliseum. It begins at 7 p.m. 
  • Columbine pushed its ceremonies back to 1 p.m. Sunday at DU's Magness Arena.  

Other Jeffco schools are moving to other venues as well.

Golden High School had planned to have its commencement at the Colorado School of Mines Stadium Friday morning. Now, it will be held in the Golden High gym.

"You only get one shot at graduating from high school," said Patrick Kennedy, a parent, whose stepdaughter is among the graduate candidates. "When it get's messed up, it's irreplaceable."

Kennedy says he was stunned to see a note from the high school principal stating that with the venue change, students would be limited to four tickets each for guests who want to attend.

"We had family coming in from out of town," Kennedy said. "My other children were going to try to attend as well."

He said they all had to make travel changes because of the venue change.

"My stepdaughter is disappointed," he said.

Kennedy also said that each student had to pay a $60 venue fee to walk down the aisle at the stadium. He said since the venue isn't being used due to weather, the students should get a refund.

We reached out to JeffCo schools to see if that will be the case.  District spokeswoman Diana Wilson said the "fee doesn't only cover the venue, it covers a wide variety of things.  No, it is not refundable."

Douglas County Public Schools have also had to make some last minute changes.

Graduation ceremonies at Rock Canyon High School have been pushed back a day. They will now be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Echo Park Stadium.

Ceremonies for seniors at Douglas County High School have also been pushed back a day. They will now be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Douglas County High School Stadium.