Struggling Atlantic City district pays $11,000 to lease arena for high school graduation

Associated Press

The financially troubled Atlantic City school district is paying about $11,000 for the venue for high school graduation.

Seniors will receive their diplomas Friday at Trump Taj Mahal's Etess Arena instead of Boardwalk Hall.

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The school district's state monitor told The Press of Atlantic City (http://bit.ly/1RdSpWh ) that he was startled when he saw the bill as the district struggles with layoffs. Gary McCartney says he was told Boardwalk Hall was not available this year, but he hopes to find a free venue for next year.

"I'd want to do it as cheaply as we can and still have a comfortable situation for parents and grandparents," McCartney said.

It wasn't immediately clear what the district would have paid to use Boardwalk Hall.

School board President John Devlin said, in light of the current budget crisis, the district next year should probably look at holding graduation at the high school football stadium.

"It is amazing to do it at Boardwalk Hall," Devlin said. "But it doesn't have to be indoors. We also have a beautiful stadium, and we can do it outdoors and have a rain date, if necessary."

Devlin said for the dozen years he has served on the school board it has been tradition to hold graduation at Boardwalk Hall.

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Information from: The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.), http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com