FARMINGTON -- Graduation ceremonies could turn into money-makers for some Davis County high schools this year.
For the six Davis County high school graduation ceremonies being held at Dee Events Center this year, there is an admission charge for anyone who goes beyond the four allotted family tickets assigned per graduate.
Graduation ceremonies are scheduled today and Friday at the Weber State University facility, and admission is $3 for those purchasing a ticket in advance and $5 at the door.
Woods Cross and Bountiful high schools -- also in Davis County School District -- are not using the Dee Events Center. Those ceremonies are held in the Bountiful Regional Center. Woods Cross does not charge for admission, while BHS gives two free tickets to family members and then levies a $3 admission fee for others attending.
Weber County School District and Ogden School District do not charge admission to graduation ceremonies.
Chris Williams, spokesman for Davis School District, said the district is paying Weber State $21,157 this year for access to the sports facility to hold graduation ceremonies -- that is approximately $3,526 per school. The cost of the facility rental alone is $1,250 and costs for event staff, police, sound and piano go into the total amount, Williams said. He said the district pays for those costs as opposed to costs for flowers, banners, diploma covers and the printing of tickets, which individual schools pay for.
"Any extra money that schools bring in from graduation will go into their general or discretionary funds, and those monies can be spent on textbooks, supplies, technology, etc.," Williams said.
He said the admission fee is not new.
Getting access to the Dee Events Center carries an impact beyond mere costs. Williams said the district builds its school-year calendar backward based on the days the events center is available for graduation. With a late start this year, it resulted in Davis County schools getting out a week or two later than their neighbors in the Top of Utah. High schools in the Ogden and Weber school districts have already held their commencement exercises.