ELKHART, Texas (KETK) – Elkhart ISD made the decision to move their graduation ceremony from their football stadium after they discovered that their bleachers are unsafe and “beyond repair.”

“I am so thankful that we made it through football season without an incident,” said Dr. Lamont Smith, Superintendent of Elkhart ISD.

Smith said that it was brought to his attention that the bleachers at the Elkhart football field were not safe and decided to get them inspected.

After receiving inspection results from professionals, steel experts said the bleachers should be condemned. The stadium is also 70-years-old.

“Knowing that we had graduation coming up here, I didn’t want anybody to be there not knowing whether or not it was safe and when I got the information saying it wasn’t, I made the call to switch to a new location,” said Smith.

School officials said they were unaware of the problem.

“Had I known in the fall the severity of the condition of the bleachers, I most certainly would have advocated that we not used the facility this season,” said Smith.

The school district will be moving the graduation to the Lakeview Methodist Copeland Center where it will be air-conditioned and have adequate seating. The graduation ceremony time will remain on May 27 at 8 p.m.

“So to be a part of the young people’s evening and the event, it’s something we get to be proud of to make it as memorable as possible,” said Josh Pulver, the Lakeview Methodist CEO.

Smith added that they are also discussing how the recent bleacher findings will impact the 2022 football/band and cheer season.

“We need both short-term and long-term plans to address this incredible need and I will work with our E.I.S.D. team to determine options,” said Smith. “I appreciate your patience and support as we navigate this unfortunate situation.