There is no guarantee, but there is a possibility the 2018 Shelton High School graduation could take place at Finn Stadium despite scheduled renovations.
“There is a chance,” said Superintendent Dr. Chris Clouet.
Shelton’s Public Improvement Building Committee put out a bid for the project and Williams Blackstock Architects was awarded the bid in February.
After hearing public outcry in response to the announcement of graduation being relocated, the superintendent said he decided to contact the architect.
“I reached out to Bill Aniskovich, who is one of the chief architects at WBA. They do design work, and one of their specialties is fields and stadiums,” said Clouet.
Clouet and Aniskovich agreed that it was possible to host a graduation while renovations were in progress.
“I’ve done a graduation while artificial turf was being installed in another district, and he knew who I was and where I had done it,” said Clouet. “He understood that it could be done as well.”
Despite knowing that hosting graduation during renovations is possible, Clouet said, it’s not clear yet whether that will be the case this year in Shelton.
Bids for renovations will be broken up into three components: field, track, and fence. Bids for the project will be made public on Thursday, April 5.
“Contractors who are potential bidders asked questions and got to look at the field,” Clouet said. “It was made clear to them the district would like to shut down work for three days in the third week of June so it could host graduation. That is not saying we guarantee that we will host graduation. That’s why we need to wait until we have the bids open on Thursday and contractors are selected to make it clear that they can complete the work with this caveat.
“It will take a couple of days to review the bids and make sure their numbers add up. So when we get back from the spring break, which starts next week, we should be able to make a determination about who the qualified contractors are, their ability to do the work according to the specifications that we’ve given, and if all of those things fall in place, then we would be able to make the announcement that we can host graduation at Finn Stadium.”
Clouet said his reason for wanting to make sure contracts are signed before making any official announcement is because he doesn’t want to make a promise only to have to withdraw it should something not go according to plan.
“I think it is possible, but again, it’s easy for me to say that. I need a contractor who’s putting their reputation on the line and investing their resources into this project,” said Clouet. “I am cautiously optimistic, but again, it’s going to require a set of signed contracts in order to make that announcement.”
Typically, the Shelton Board of Education makes the announcement at the April board meeting, which is April 25, according to Clouet.
“If we’re certain that the graduation can take place in Shelton, then we’ll work together with the architect, the mayor’s office, with the Board of Ed to make a joint announcement.”