Graduation will be the first event at the Grape Bowl to showcase some recently completed Americans with Disability Act improvements at the stadium.
Lodi High School students will graduate on May 27 at the Grape Bowl, and Tokay High School will follow on May 29.
The city has completed the ramp with a railing that goes from the field to the top of the bleachers, as well as ADA-compliant seating, said Jim Rodems, interim director of parks and recreation.
A new ADA parking lot is currently being graded and paved at the bottom of the ramp and will also be complete by graduation. The new restrooms and concessions are still in the planning stages, so the city will bring in portables for graduation and any future events, Rodems said.
The Lodi City Council will decide on what project to spend the $1 million the city received from an agreement with Waste Management. If they decide to move forward with the ADA restrooms and concessions, the city will start planning for those projects this summer.
As soon as graduation is complete, the city will start work on installing artificial turf. The project will be complete by August 10 at the latest, in time for a youth football game scheduled for August 21. The city is also considering doing another concert at the Grape Bowl during the weekend of August 13-14, Rodems said.
During last year's graduation, the city had to make accommodations for then-senior Jeremy Hixson, who suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a degenerative condition that makes his bones fragile. He has suffered more than 30 bone fractures in his life and is confined to a wheelchair.
Rodems said he has not heard from any students at Tokay or Lodi who need additional accommodations this year.
Hixson wanted to wheel his own chair at his graduation, but eventually agreed to ride in a golf cart to his seat and then used a rubber mat to access the podium.
In December, Hixson filed a claim with the city saying the city has ignored the ADA mandates and has not made reasonable efforts to make the stadium, which was constructed in the 1940s, compliant. The city rejected his claim, but he has not filed a lawsuit.
Hixson said he accepted the terms for his graduation because he didn't want the ceremony moved to the school's gymnasium. He said it would have unfairly punished his other classmates, who had no say in the matter.
List of local graduationsIndependence High School
1 p.m., May 27 at the McNair High School theater
Liberty High School
10 a.m., May 27 at Hutchins Street Square
Lodi High School
7 p.m., May 27 at the Grape Bowl
Tokay High School
10 a.m., May 29 at the Grape Bowl
Middle College High School
2 p.m., May 29 at Delta College's Atherton Auditorium
Jim Elliot High School
3 p.m., May 29 at Temple Baptist Church
10 a.m. May 30, school gym, 1230 S. Central Ave.
Estrellita High School
6 p.m., June 2 at Estrellita quad
Galt High School
7:30 p.m., June 3 at Galt High
Mokelumne River High School
7 p.m., June 4th at Westside Assembly Church