Pflugerville High School

PFLUGERVILLE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

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Class of 2017 Graduation Information

THE 2017 PFLUGERVILLE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

HIGH SCHOOL COMMENCEMENTS

INFORMATION PACKET

Welcome to The University of Texas at Austin Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Special Events Center and Congratulations on this most memorable of occasions.

There are a few quintessential moments in your life that define your lifetime, such as getting your driver’s license, your first kiss, your wedding day(s), the birth of your children, your first birdie putt or being a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan in 2016. Your family member / friend has created a quintessential moment in their lifetime . . . and yours.

Savor the moment.

The Erwin Center staff hopes your experience at The Erwin Center is enjoyable and positive. To help with this, the Erwin Center Events Management staff has created this document for your information. Please read it over and let us know what you think. Bring it with you to the Erwin Center to assist you with any questions you might have. If you have additional questions, please contact Buzz Huber at (512) 471-4718 or (512) 748-4911, e-mail me at buzz@utexas.edu or ask for me at the Erwin Center.

PARKING

This pamphlet is as close to chronological order as we can get, so let’s start with the first and worst problem you'll have at the Erwin Center . . . parking. Or the lack thereof.

Before we go any further, the address for the Erwin Center for out of town friends / relatives with GPS capability is 1701 Red River St., Austin. Unfortunately, not even GPS will be of much assistance when in the immediate vicinity due to the detours you might experience.

Parking and general traffic maneuverability has been severely impacted for the last few years by the construction of the U.T. Dell Medical School. Phase 1 of that construction is thankfully close to a finish, but just day to day, routine Austin traffic in the immediate vicinity is now impacting us. We cannot emphasize to you enough the importance of your arriving early and being prepared to be re-routed by APD at several intersections.

Should you decide to drive, your closest parking options are Lot 108 just south of the Erwin Center and Lot 118 at the intersection of the southbound I-35 feeder road and MLK, just north of the building. These lots can ONLY be entered from the southbound feeder road of I-35. Unless you arrive well before the doors open for the first ceremony of the day or at a perfect time between ceremonies, these lots will be full. If you do find a spot in these lots after the first ceremony of the day, you need to buy a Lotto ticket on the way home, because you’re on a run with your good luck. They’re the closest to the building and will by far and away be the fastest to fill up. A $12.00 fee will be charged to park here.

The Trinity parking garage is located across Red River Street from the Erwin Center at the intersection of M.L.K. and Trinity. Entrance to this garage will only be allowed from the Trinity Street entrance, depending on the traffic situation when you arrive. This is an A.P.D. call that’s made when traffic in that immediate area gets to be too heavy.

Good news! The Health Center Garage is a new parking garage located at the intersection of Trinity and 15th. Park, take the sidewalk to Red River and you’re at the building.

There is also a parking garage located at the intersection of MLK and Speedway, which is about two blocks from the Erwin Center as well as the Manor garage on Dedman, which is also about two blocks from the Erwin Center. Both are long uphill walks to the Erwin Center. All of the aforementioned are pay garages and all will charge $12.00.

The next closest options for parking are the state garages along Trinity between 15th and M.L.K. These are stage garages and not affiliated with U.T.

Very important! Follow the directions of the ushers you’ll see once you exit all these aforementioned garages. They’re directing you to the building via the easiest, shortest distance. Look for ushers in neon green shirts or vests to direct you to where you need to go.

The best option for mobility impaired drop off will be to turn into Lot 118 from the southbound frontage road, tell the guard you’re dropping a mobility impaired guest, drop your guest and then proceed to the potentially gridlocked Red River – more on that later - and hope someone will let you into the flow of traffic.

Your guest will have the option of walking across the terrace to a door or they can proceed down the sidewalk to the Red River doors. If your guest is in a wheelchair, the Red River doors are better suited for some of today’s wheelchairs.

Once that good Samaritan lets you onto Red River, your best choice will be to turn right on Red River, right on MLK, right on the I-35 southbound frontage road, right on 15th and turn right at the third light onto Trinity. Find the entrance to the HCG on your right, a state garage on your left or the U.T. Trinity garage at MLK / Trinity on your right.

Red River between 15th and MLK is now open in both directions. That sounds pretty cool but this stretch is only one lane in each direction for the south half of that block and all of it is in gridlock the closer we get to the start time of each ceremony, with guests wanting to drop off mobility impaired at the Red River doors, lost graduates, limos, and possibly even buses. While we’re at it, let’s throw in some morning and / or evening rush hour traffic, depending on the time of your ceremony, just because it’s Austin, Texas. Who cares if its Saturday? You are urged to stay away from this street unless you have mobility impaired guests who can’t walk far.

While we’re at it, if you’re on westbound 15th, stay in the inside lane until you’re past the "new" Red River. The outside lane is often blocked by traffic wanting to turn right on to Red River. Get the picture yet? It’s a driver’s maneuvering nightmare.

All of these and other lots and garages can viewed at http://www.utexas.edu/parking/maps/

Refer to the following schedule for start times and approximate end times when looking for a parking spot.

Date & School Doors Open Begins Ends @

Sat. June 3 Akins N/A N/A 11:00 a.m.

Pflugerville N/A 1:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m.

Connally N/A 3:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m.

Hendrickson N/A 6:00 p.m. N/A

Please remember these ending times are extremely approximate.

Also, if you’re coming in from out of town, a shuttle service may be available from several hotels in the area and don’t forget to carpool . . . carpool . . . carpool. Austin, Texas was recognized two years ago as having the 4th worst traffic in the nation – we’ve since "improved" to the 10th worst traffic in the nation - and you’re about to find out why. Don’t make this your headache. Make it someone else’s.

And all you out of towners please take note: Austin doesn’t have Uber or Lyft. There are several smaller ride sharing companies. You can find them at http://austin.culturemap.com/news/innovation/06-03-16-ride-hailing-ridesharing-options-in-austin-transportation-network-companies-apps/

MEETING YOUR PARTY

This is easy. If you arrive in cars and you wish to meet the rest of your party or your friends, the best place to do this is at the Bevo statue on the north side of the building. This is the easiest location to describe and see. It’s also the absolute best photo / selfie opportunity on the property.

ENTERING THE BUILDING

Many regular attendees of the Erwin Center are familiar with only three entrances to the building when in reality there are as many as nine.

Due to traffic issues on Red River, all graduates will enter through the back door of the Erwin Center. This now frees up the Red River doors for the public. Please re-read the last paragraph on page 1.

If someone in your party is mobility impaired, they and your party are welcome to enter through the Red River doors. There is a ramp available to your immediate right as you enter the doors, if stairs are a bad option. Once at the bottom of the stairs or ramp, please continue moving to the elevator located on the other side of the glass doors directly ahead of you. Due to the heavy use of the elevator at load in, we ask that only the person who needs the elevator and one other use the elevator. The rest of the party can take the escalator up to the arena – or mezzanine - and wait for your party to emerge from the elevator. This helps tremendously in the speed of the line for the elevator.

All mobility impaired seating is located on the back row of the arena level and the first row of the mezzanine level. Once again, due to heavy use of the mobility impaired seats, we ask that the person who needs this seating and one or two others use this row and the rest of the party find seating in the immediate area.

Public entrances are accessed by taking the northwest ramp – close to the MLK / Red River intersection – or the southwest steps - close to the 15th / Red River intersection - up from the street for admittance into any available doors. If you arrive at the north terrace where the Bevo statue is, it’s possible you’ll see an enormous amount of people trying to get in, since all foot traffic is being directed this way. Now is the time to blaze new trails. Walk around to any area of the building on this level and go in any other door. Do not go up any ramps unless directed.

One other note: If you enter the seating area as the prior school’s ceremony is ongoing, we ask that you respect the previous school’s wishes and be as quiet as possible if you decide to try to find a seat. Once the previous school is finished with their ceremony, feel free to move down to better seats as they open up.

ITEMS YOU CAN'T BRING IN THE BUILDING

EXPECT TO HAVE ANY PURSE OR HANDBAG VISUALLY INSPECTED AT THE DOORS. ANYONE REFUSING THIS POLICY WILL NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE BUILDING.

We restrict entry to the items listed below. Please refrain from attempting to bring these into the Erwin Center.

1) Any sized backpack or knapsack, or any purse larger than 12 x 12 x 12 in any direction.

These items are not allowed in under any circumstances, as they could be construed as being an obstruction in the event of an emergency egress.

2) Food or beverages

Concession stands are available for food and beverage purchases. Items needed for medical and/or infant care purposes are always acceptable.

3) Banners / Signs / Flags / Balloons

Banners, signs or flags larger than an 8 1/2" by 11" letter sized paper will be turned away at the door. Items larger than that prove to be a line of sight problem for the crowd behind the banner. Balloons can be placed in this category since they create a line of sight problem. Anything mounted on a stick is prohibited as well.

4) Noisemakers

Noisemakers include air horns, whistles, air horns, rattlers, air horns, cowbells or any other item that would prove to be a distraction to our guests and / or graduates, up to and including air horns. Commencement ceremonies are looked upon by the quiet majority as a time of solemnity and respect for the graduates. They are experiencing a defining moment in their lives. Unfortunately, the noisy minority feel it’s the perfect time to break out the noisemakers. WE WILL CONFISCATE ANY NOISEMAKER WE FIND, UP TO AND INCLUDING AIR HORNS. Naturally, we won’t catch all of them, but, rest assured, we’ll do our best.

5) Smoking

Smoking is not allowed on University of Texas property unless you’re 6’ away from a city street or the feeder road.

6) Fireworks and/or weapons

In recent years, the concealed carry handgun license has started to become an issue. That permit is not recognized on University property hosting a high school event. The only parties who can carry concealed weapons in the Erwin Center or on University property are law enforcement officers, on or off duty.

7) Baby strollers / Wheelchairs

Technically, these are allowed in the doors but unattended baby strollers and wheelchairs must be left at the concourse doors (entrances into the building). There can be no unattended strollers and wheelchairs inside the seating area.

MEETING YOUR GRADUATE AFTER THE CEREMONY

All graduates will exit the building through the Red River doors after the ceremony and, if it’s a perfect world, meet you at the north end of the building by the Bevo statue. Once again, big photo / selfie opportunity. Check with your school to confirm any departure arrangements.

We ask that you move outside as quickly as possible to meet your graduate so we can begin to prepare for the next ceremony. Graduates will not be allowed back inside once they leave through the Red River doors.

MISCELLANEOUS

Photographs and digital recordings are a major component of any commencement ceremony. Allow us to discuss a few points on these subjects.

Digital cameras are perfectly acceptable in a commencement exercise. If you have a bag, it will be checked as you enter the building. Please make sure your battery is charged before you arrive at the building as you won’t be allowed to charge it at the Erwin Center, unless you want to stand over the cord. Obviously, we’re not concerned with the power usage, but we are concerned with the safety factor of having loose cables on our floors.

Also, if you have a tripod, it will need to go in front of your chair and not impede guests who aren’t in your party. The legs can’t extend into the aisle. Monopods rule.

We ask that all videographers and photographers record and take pictures from their seats. Please do not move to the floor as this only serves to disrupt the ceremony.

Hey parents and grandparents – Remember life without cell phones? I didn’t have to include this paragraph until the mid 90s. Cell phones are a major part of our lives. Please be considerate enough to put your phone on discreet or turn it off after you find a seat. People tend to call in the early parts of the ceremony so they can meet up with their party. There aren’t too many things ruder than having a seemingly endless litany of cell phone ring tones and sound bites going off as the colors are being presented or an invocation is taking place. The only thing ruder would be forcing someone to have to listen to half the conversation.

Outside of Section 25 /26 on the southwest concourse, the Erwin Center has a guest services booth. At this booth guests may locate items – usually cell phones - that were left behind at previous ceremonies, lost parents can be re-united with their children and assistive listening devices for the hearing impaired may be checked out.

If arrangements have been made for your school to have a hearing impaired signer, you’ll sit in the lower rows of Section 47.

Lastly, let’s deal with the bane of general admission commencements all across the land . . . the seat saver. Actually, the seat saver is okay. It’s the row saver I’m talking about. I’ve been doing this for many years. I dare say I’ve coordinated more high school commencements over the years than most people in the State of Texas and I have yet to hear a reasonable person tell me how one rationalizes in their mind that it’s okay to save dozens of seats, multiple rows of prime seats for someone who isn’t even in the vicinity.

It’s reasonable to save one or two seats – maybe even three – for someone. I get that. That comes with the territory. But when you start making the seating area look like an indoor yard sale by marking each seat in multiple rows with a personal item such as an umbrella, sweater, purse, bath towel, dirty socks, brassieres, etc., that just doesn’t seem fair.

And when told by the usher that you’ll need to give up those rows to guests arriving in a timely manner, please come up with a better answer than "They’re on the way" – of course they are, even if they’re in Round Rock, they’re on the way – or "They’re parking right now" – of course they are, and now they have a 20 minute walk in front of them.

There’s no law that says you can’t save row after row of prime seats, but there is the matter of common courtesy and good judgement. You honestly can’t come up with a good enough excuse, s0 please remember that as you hog row after row of prime seats.

And let’s hope you don’t wind up in some viral video like the messy incident that many of us recently saw in Memphis, Tennessee . . . in a church . . . during a processional . . . all thanks to a seat saver hogging prime seats. Course, in their defense, it takes two to get to that shameful situation, but in the end, it’s the seat saver who needs to own it.

Please do the right things at these commencements and your day will be much brighter. Arrive early, don’t take Red River between 15th and MLK and don’t save bunches of prime seats.

Once again, welcome, Congratulations and please call me with any questions you may have. Please be aware that once these ceremonies begin, I won’t be at my office number very much at all, so please call / email days in advance rather than hours. And please don’t leave a voicemail on my office number. I admit it . . . I’m horrible about checking my office number voice mail.

Savor the moment.

Mike "Buzz" Huber

Events Manager

The University of Texas at Austin Frank C. Erwin Jr. Special Events Center

471-4718 Office

748-4911 Cell

*****Important update:  The University of Texas has increased security measures and is requiring all guests to walk through a magnetometer metal detector as they enter the building and will be wanded if the magnetometer alarms.  Additionally, all bags and purses will be searched.  All guests will be required to remove all items form their pockets before being screened.  Please anticipate delays, as approximately  in 3 people require secondary screening. 

 
Will your senior need a ride to the Frank Irwin Center for graduation?
 

 

Be sure to remind your student to sign up in the Front Office to reserve their space.  Rides will only be provided to the Frank Irwin Center.  Students will be required to secure rides home with their family.  Buses will pick up in the bus loop on the large gym side and will leave promptly at 10:30 am on June 3. 

 
 
 
 
Class of 2017 – Important Dates to Remember

DATE

EVENT

February 24

Senior Contract due to English Teachers

March 10

All fines and make up hours need to be cleared prior to March 10. See the bookkeeper by 4:00 pm.

March 13-17

Spring Break

March 28

If you are sent to OC or JJAEP after this date, you will not walk at Graduation

April 12

Pick up graduation invitations during all three lunches! Last chance to order! Balance due to pick up!

April 21

Last day to turn in Scholarship information to Ms. Bazemore

May 5

Last day to turn in make up hours for credits to be released

May 1-3

STAAR Testing (1-US Hist) (2-Bio) (3-Alg I)

May 11

To Save Just One (Attendance required for all seniors) at 10:30 am in the FAC

May 13

PROM (8:00 pm till midnight) at Double Tree by Hilton

May 16

Cap/Gown Distributions in the Cafeteria-9 am – 1 pm 

   (ALL OBLIGATIONS MUST BE PAID.)

May 19

Last day to complete work in Credit Recovery

May 21

PISD Baccalaureate at CHS PAC – 4 PM

May 23

Senior Awards Ceremony – 1 pm – 3 pm in the FAC

May 23

Mandatory all textbooks must be turned in

May 30

Graduation Rehearsal #1 (MANDATORY) in the Cafeteria 3:30 pm.

May 31

Graduation Rehearsal #2 (MANDATORY) in the GYM at 9:00 am. Bring Cap & Gown for Panoramic Picture

June 3

Graduation: Students must report to the robing room at the Frank Erwin Center by 11:45 am for the 1:00 pm ceremony

June 3

Panther Celebration at PHS

June 5 

 Diplomas to be distributed from 1 pm to 3 pm in A Hall.

                   Dates are subject to change. Please continue to check for updates.

 

 WANT TO ORDER THE PHS PANTHER GRADUATION DVD?  CLICK HERE FOR A COPY OF THE ORDER FORM!




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