HAZELWOOD, Mo. — Sports complex POWERplex is planning hold large-scale, drive-in graduation ceremonies for more than 3,000 high school seniors this year.
The plan is for the "largest drive-in graduation ceremony ever held in America," complete with two video trucks, livestreaming, Jumbotrons and food trucks that will deliver curbside to spectators in their cars.
More than a dozen public and private schools are considering taking part and several school boards will be voting to approve the idea next week, POWERplex said in a press release.
The complex, which is being developed in the former St. Louis Outlet Mall in Hazelwood, plans to host more than 180 major sports tournaments and special events per year when it is complete. Construction will begin in early June after the ceremonies, POWERplex said.
“This campus will soon be completely renovated to serve thousands of young student athletes and families every week. So, we thought, ‘why not get a jump start on serving our community and do something special for the Class of 2020,'” said Dan Buck, managing partner of Big Sports Properties, which is leading the development.
“We have all the necessary ingredients for a massive drive-in graduation. Huge parking lots, plenty of interior and exterior space to meet the social distancing requirements for the graduates and faculty, while the audience can stay in the safe confines of their cars watching everything on giant jumbotrons and listening on their car radios."
The release included a quote from Tracy Ellis, the mother of a senior who goes to Fort Zumwalt West High School.
"My son’s senior class has been stripped of so many traditions, proms and sports opportunities because of COVID-19. I’m glad someone is coming up with a solution that delivers a real graduation for thousands of seniors. This will be an ultimate experience after a very difficult spring,” Ellis said.
Local companies BROUGHT 2U Media, Klance Unlimited and Fogarty services are assisting with the project, POWERplex said.