The outdoor space should provide more social distancing for the ceremonies.
The School District of Manatee County has changed the location for long-awaited graduation ceremonies in July to ensure more social distancing.
Both Lakewood Ranch and Braden River high school graduations have been moved from the Bradenton Area Convention Center to LECOM Park.
Braden River High School's graduation will be at 9 a.m. July 28, and Lakewood Ranch High School's graduation is at 9 a.m. July 29.
With an increase in COVID-19 cases, the district said maintaining social distancing with crowds of almost 2,000 people in an indoor setting would be unfeasible.
LECOM Park's assigned seating and ticketing system offers assistance in spacing guests.
Moving the ceremonies to the morning allows for cooler temperatures and less of a chance of an afternoon or evening thunderstorm interrupting the ceremonies. A morning ceremony also means the district could reschedule the ceremony for later the same day in case of a rainout.
"Like everything associated with the COVID-19 crisis, we have had to be flexible and proactive to make sound and safe decisions that are in the best interests of everyone involved," said Cynthia Saunders, superintendent of the school district, in a news release from the district. "There is no perfect time or venue for these ceremonies, but our ultimate goal is to give our graduates and their families the recognition they have earned for receiving their diplomas."