Somerville High School sophomores and juniors will dine and dance in their school's field house this March to save money on the dances, which have become more expensive every year, Dea Dodi, a student, announced at a recent Somerville School Committee meeting.
For the past 10 years, said Headmaster Tony Ciccariello, students have selected the ballroom of the Hilton Boston Logan Airport as the site for their semi-formal and formal dances. They hold fundraisers to pay part of the cost of renting the venue. But after tickets topped out at around $55 last year, and fewer students attended, class officers decided to change the location.
By using local catering and event services, as well as Somerville police as supervisors, the school aims to cut the price of admission in half, to about $25.
"It's really about making it an affordable event for as many students as possible," the headmaster said.
Moving the event, he added, will allow students to have more control over decorations—this year the theme is the glamor days of Old Hollywood—music and transportation to and from the party.
"It should be not about place," Ciccariello said. "If it's done right, it's about the event itself and the memories that happen when they're together as a class."
But he said that he wasn't sure how well students would take the news. (Watch our video to see how thrilled the sophomore class president is about it.)
School Committee members took interest at the Jan. 9 meeting. Mark Niedergang said the decision seemed economical.
“I always wondered why students would rent limos, drive, go off places far away, when we have our own facility here.”
By lowering the cost of the sophomore-junior formal, Ciccariello said, students will be able to set aside money for their senior prom, which is more expensive.
This year, seniors will celebrate their prom at the Boston Marriott Cambridge, said Ciccariello. Tickets will likely cost about $75.
To further save students money, the high school makes donated contemporary evening dresses available to girls . To drop off a dress, not more than five years old, call the main office at 617-625-6600, ext. 6100. The school will cover the cost of dry cleaning.