COVINGTON -- Officials with the Newton County School System still are trying to figure out where graduations will be held in May.
"We are awaiting further word on negotiations under way involving the Church in the Now," said NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews on Monday. "Should these negotiations turn out in such a manner so as to allow the school system to utilize this facility for graduation, we will take advantage of it."
For the past several years, NCSS has held high school graduation ceremonies at CITN, which is located on Iris Drive in Conyers.
In May, the graduations for all three high schools were some of the last events held at the church, which was put up for sale on the Rockdale County courthouse steps but later reverted to the mortgage holder, Evangelical Christian Credit Union.
CITN Pastor Jim Swilley still continues to hold services in a smaller building on the church campus, now renamed Church in the Now East.
"Otherwise, we certainly do have Sharp Stadium available to us, which would not be unusual at all for a high school graduation to be in the outdoors," Mathews said.
Jeff Meadors, vice chair of the Newton County Board of Education, said he would like graduations to be held at Sharp field to accommodate more guests, if he had a say in the matter, although he said he wouldn't know what the rain plan would be.
"I would like to see it in Newton County," he said. "I'd like to see the students who go to our schools graduate inside the county. ... However, the greatest current insight into proper use of facilities really rests with our superintendent in whom I have utmost trust."
Mathews said in an email to school principals on Monday that students will receive at least as many tickets as last year, and if Sharp Stadium is used, then they will receive even more.
"At this time, we cannot say for sure (where they will be held)," Mathews said. "We will decide no later than the end of March as to where graduation will be held depending on how things work out."
The Eastside High School graduation is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, May 25; Alcovy for 9 a.m. Saturday, May 26 and Newton for 7 p.m. the same day.
News Editor Jay Jones contributed to this report.