Several Buncombe County high schools will hold graduation ceremonies this weekend at the U.S. Cellular Center.
Enka, Erwin, AC Reynolds, TC Roberson and North Buncombe graduating seniors will all walk across the stage to receive their diplomas at the U.S. Cellular Center.
The City of Asheville is proud to host this important civic event each June. Changes in both security levels and parking/traffic plans will be in effect for the 2018 end-of-year graduations.
First, everyone is encouraged to build in lots of travel time so friends and family don’t miss a moment of each given ceremony. The Center’s doors will open one hour prior to scheduled graduation time for each school. Students will receive information directly from their given school concerning their scheduled arrival times.
Friday, June 15:
Enka High School 7 p.m. ceremony; doors open at 6 p.m.
Saturday, June 16:
AC Reynolds High School: 11 am. ceremony; doors open at 10 a.m.
Erwin High School: 3 p.m. ceremony; doors open at 2 p.m.
TC Roberson High School: 7:30 p.m. ceremony; doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 17 (Thomas Wolfe Auditorium):
North Buncombe High School: 2 p.m. ceremony; doors open at 1 p.m.
New security protocols
New this year will be enhanced levels of security around the U.S. Cellular Center. All students and public attendees will be subject to back checks and pat downs. Please allow additional time to park and enter the building, as these additional security measures will slow the entry process into the facility.
High school graduation non-permissible items will include:
· Weapons of any kind, including but not limited to guns, pocket knives, knives, pepper spray/mace, flares and fireworks
· Drugs and other illegal substances
· Noise making devices (i.e. air horns, drums, whistles, etc.)
· Flashlights, laser pointers and other distracting light producing objects
· Wheeled conveyances other than wheelchairs and strollers (i.e. skateboards, skateshoes, hoverboards, rollerblades, bicycles etc). Strollers are not permitted in seating areas and must be left in designated stroller locations outside of the seating area.
· Large bags (greater than 12-by-12”)
· Signs, banners, posters, flags etc. may not be larger than 11-by-17” and may not be attached to a stick; these items also may not be hung or attached to any part of the building, display obscene/offensive language or images or obstruct the view of other guests.
· Guests wearing full face masks or full face paint will not be permitted entry.
· Other prohibited items; Balloons, chairs, two way radios, beach balls, permanent markers, stickers and spray paint.
New designated pick up/drop-off location
New for 2018 is a designated location for pick-ups and drop-offs centered around graduations.
PLEASE DO NOT PICK UP OR DROP OFF GUESTS DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE U.S. CELLULAR CENTER ON HAYWOOD STREET. This causes a great deal of traffic congestion.
Pickup/drop off designated location will be the corner of Battery Square and Page Avenue. This is approximately ½ block of accessible sidewalk to the front doors of the U.S. Cellular Center. All drop-offs and pick-ups should occur here, including family guests, students etc.
Directions to drop-off from I-240
From the Montford Exit off I-240 navigate to O’Henry Avenue heading south:
· Turn left onto Battery Square.
· Drop-off at stop sign.
· Turn left onto Page Avenue.
· Right onto Haywood Street and proceed to parking garages.
Directions to pick up from parking garages
· Exit any parking garage and navigate to the corner of Battery Park Ave and Haywood St.
· Head west on Battery Park Avenue, turn right on Page Avenue.
· Pick up at corner of Page Avenue and Battery Square.
· Turn left on Battery Square, right onto O’Henry Avenue and proceed to I-240.
Download the free Asheville App on your mobile device for its Find Parking feature to get real-time information on parking spaces available at the City’s four downtown parking garages. You can also check this USCC parking link for more parking information, including about the Buncombe County garage a short walk away.
The following City of Asheville parking garages will be operating in “Special Event Parking Mode.” Parking rates will be $7/car at these garages:
· Civic Center Parking Garage: $7/car
· Rankin Avenue Parking Garage: $7/car
The following City and County parking garages will be operating with standard posted rate parking:
· Wall Street Parking Garage (City)
· Biltmore Avenue Parking Garage (City)
· Coxe Avenue Parking Garage (County)
· College Street Parking Garage (County)
Surface parking lots
Numerous surface parking lots will be operating allowing guests access to their lots for a fee. The majority of these lots are private lots with rates that are not controlled by the City or the County. City of Asheville Lot 18, directly across the street from the U.S. Cellular Center will be designated as parking for those with accessible needs. A state-issued hang tag will be required. Additional accessible parking spaces will be available on the fourth floor level of the Civic Center parking garage.
ART bus options
Several Asheville Redefines Transit (ART) buses run either past or close to the U.S. Cellular Center, including the N, N1, N2, N3, E1, E2 and 170 routes.
Check RideTheART.com for routes/times and be aware that while Sunday service is offered on all routes, it ends earlier in the day.
You can map your ART bus route to the USCC using these two sites:
· Google Maps Transit: Very easy to use. Enter your starting location and final destination, and the time that you are leaving, and it will generate your trip schedule, including transfers to different routes.
· Nextbus: Use this site to get real-time transit data to see when the bus is going to arrive. This will be important because currently the Google information is based on the schedules and not what the bus is actually doing. With added traffic downtown during Fed Cup, some buses may be running late.
The ART Station at 49 Coxe Avenue is a 5-minute walk from the US Cellular Center and provides transit access to the entire city.
Guests attending each graduation must present a ticket issued by the graduating school. Guests 2 and under will not require a ticket, with exception of guests attending North Buncombe’s graduation on Sunday in the Thomas Wolfe. North Buncombe guests all must present a ticket, inclusive of infants.