In a series of adjustments to COVID-19 protocols and student concerns, Mt. Ararat High School changed its prom venue to Mitchell Field, then moved it to the Brunswick Golf Club.
Principal Chris Hoffman and Senior Class Advisor Jen Green informed the Harpswell Board of Selectmen about the latest change in plans in a letter dated Monday, April 11.
The letter cites the “decline of COVID-19 cases in our area” as a factor in the decision, as well as seniors’ concerns about the potential for inclement weather to disrupt an outdoor prom.
The school first approached the town after the venue it had booked a year in advance “fell through due to COVID restrictions,” Green told the select board on March 31.
“Mt. Ararat has not had a prom since 2019 and we want this to be a special event,” Green said in a letter to the board. The school expects 250-300 people to attend the May 14 event.
Green said that she chaperoned a Project Graduation event at Mitchell Field in spring 2021 “and I think that could be a really beautiful place for our seniors to safely have their prom.” An outdoor venue was attractive in case pandemic protocols changed before the event, she said.
The school planned to set up a tent with a dance floor next to the bandstand, where a DJ would provide the music.
The select board approved the school’s request to use the property and to close it to the public from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for safety reasons. The board also waived the fee.
George J. Mitchell Field was a U.S. Navy fuel depot until its transfer to the town in 2001. The 120-acre property is popular for its beach and trail network.