The Fairfax County School Board on May 11 unanimously approved a $500,000-per-year, sole-source contract with Monumental Sports & Entertainment to rent EagleBank Arena at George Mason University’s Fairfax campus for graduation ceremonies. The contract will run for five years and have a total value of $2.5 million.
The school system’s Office of Activities and Athletic Programs is required to support high-school commencement ceremonies with indoor venues providing up to 5,000 seats. EagleBank Arena is the only such venue in Fairfax County with that capacity and the availability to host up to 25 graduations.
DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., is the only other space capable of accommodating certain FCPS high-school ceremonies, and generally hosts two to four of the county’s graduation ceremonies annually.
(Four county high schools – McLean, Langley, James Madison and George C. Marshall – will hold their ceremonies at DAR Constitution Hall this year.)
Oakton High School will hold its commencement, as usual, at EagleBank arena. That facility also will host the ceremonies of Centreville, Chantilly, Edison, Falls Church, Hayfield, Herndon, Justice, Lewis, Mount Vernon, South County, South Lakes, West Springfield, Westfield and Woodson high schools, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, and Lake Braddock and Robinson secondary schools.)
School officials also considered Jiffy Lube Live, Capital One Hall, MGM Grand Hall and Wolf Trap for graduation ceremonies, but those venues either could not accommodate FCPS’s needs or were deemed inappropriate because of on-site alcohol sales and gambling, school officials said.