Shawnee High School’s graduation venue for the Class of 2016 will be held at the new FireLake Arena, a move that many are praising because it allows more family members of seniors to attend.

Shawnee Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to hold this year’s commencement at FireLake Arena instead of its longtime venue in Raley Chapel at Oklahoma Baptist University.

The vote follows a committee recommendation and results from both an online survey and a survey of current Shawnee High School seniors.

Superintendent Dr. Marc Moore reported that 84 percent of both the online survey respondents and seniors indicated FireLake Arena was their choice for the 2016 graduation venue.

“The new venue accommodates more guests of the graduates,” he said. “Each senior will be able to invite approximately 13-14 people.”

The previous graduations held at Raley Chapel accommodated five to six guests per senior.

Comments such as “Good move” and “About time” were among those on the News-Star’s Facebook page.

“FINALLY!! Be sure and thank a 2015 graduate or parent, said Krystal Newton Smith. “We put our necks out for this and a lot of upset and 'unlistened' to meetings. I'm so glad it's moving.”

“Too bad this didn't happen sooner...my oldest had siblings that didn't get to see her graduate,” said Sheryl Hinesley Zenon.

Graduation will be held on Monday, May 16, 2016, at 7 p.m.