Bozeman High School's graduation ceremony will be held this year at the high school's football stadium, instead of Montana State University's Fieldhouse, which is to undergo a $2.6 million renovation to improve the setting for basketball.

And if there's severe rain, lightning or snow, graduation will be held in the Belgrade Special Events Center.

Bozeman High Principal Kevin Conwell announced Monday in a message to seniors and their parents that the ceremony had to be moved because MSU officials recently notified the high school that the Fieldhouse floor will undergo a major renovation, starting in May.

Graduation will be held Sunday, June 8, starting at noon. The time is earlier than the usual 2 p.m. starting time to allow extra flexibility in case of bad weather, Conwell said.

The Belgrade Special Events Center was chosen as the backup site because it's the one indoor location in the area that can hold the very large crowd expected for graduation.

In November the state sought bids from companies interested in designing a $2.6 million renovation to MSU's Fieldhouse arena.

The project includes installing curtains to create a more “intimate” basketball venue, replacing bleacher seats on the north and south sides with new seats that have backs, installing a new sound system and evaluating and possibly removing or repairing the existing wood floor.

The design was scheduled to begin this month and be completed by April, with construction to start in May.

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