UPEI has pulled out of hosting three high school graduations this year because the university is getting its gym floors refinished.
The contractor initially indicated that it would be a two week job, but university officials said they were told just last week that the work would not be done in time for the high school grads.
It means ceremonies at Charlottetown Rural, Colonel Gray and Bluefield High schools will have to be a little smaller than planned.
"Considering all the COVID protocols are over and we get to have a normal graduating year, its definitely disappointing that we can't have it in the way it used to be," said Nevaeh Murray, who is graduating from Colonel Gray High School.
Stephanie Knickle, manager of community and campus recreation at UPEI, said the delays are out of the university's control. The gym floors need to be refinished every 10 to 12 years. This year they won't be completed until July 4.
"Unfortunately, we did try to work on timelines and it came down to hours and days," she said. "And the safety of this building and the visitors in this building was paramount. The fumes, the varnish, and just the ability to have the floor completely refinished prior to those dates of graduations was something we just could not help."
Some schools said they will be reverting back to the venues they used to host graduations during the pandemic, with the ceremonies split into two or three groups.
"We're going to do everything we can to make it special for the graduates and their families," said Charlottetown Rural principal Dale McIsaac.
Charlottetown Rural grad Samantha Quinn is taking it in stride.
"We don't all get to graduate together, like the whole grade, it's a little disappointing but there's only three groups so it won't be too split up which is good."
Knickle said UPEI hopes to have the students back for 2023.
"We want our floor to be well done and ready to host all community and sporting events," she said. "So it's unfortunate we just can't host those high school grads this year."