Preparation for area high school graduations is underway with related ceremonies beginning as early as May 8.

Van Buren High School is the only area school that will not hold graduation on school district grounds.

This year’s VBHS graduation ceremony will be Tuesday, May 17, at 7 p.m. at Stubblefield Center at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.

Van Buren school officials decided to move the 2016 ceremonies to Stubblefield Center from Citizens Bank Stadium at Blakemore Field to eliminate the threat of inclement weather, Superintendent Dr. Harold Jeffcoat said in a previous interview.

Jeffcoat added that the district has outgrown both the football field and Van Buren Fine Arts Center as locations for the high school graduation.

Stubblefield Center seats more than 3,100. That’s enough for students to invite seven family members each, which is more than ever has attended a VBHS graduation, Jeffcoat said.

Baccalaureate for Van Buren graduates is scheduled for Sunday, May 15, at 3 p.m. at the VBFAC. Project Graduation will be directly after graduation in the VBHS Commons.

Alma will hold one of the earliest ceremonies this year, with baccalaureate set for Sunday, May 8, at 7 p.m. at the Alma Performing Arts Center.

Alma High School graduation is Saturday, May 14, at 7 p.m. at the Charles B. Dyer Arena, and will be followed by Project Graduation at the Fort Smith Convention Center. The bus for Project Graduation will be boarding at 8:45 p.m.

Cedarville High School’s baccalaureate is Tuesday, May 10, at 6 p.m. Cedarville Assembly of God Church.

Graduation for Cedarville seniors is Friday, May 13, at 7 p.m. at the high school gymnasium, with Project Graduation to follow at 11 p.m. Graduates will be bused to Lokomotion in Fayetteville, then return to the high school for breakfast and prizes.

Mulberry and Mountainburg high schools will have their baccalaureates on Sunday, May 15. Mulberry’s ceremony is at 2 p.m. at the Mulberry First Baptist Church, and Mountainburg’s is at 7:30 p.m. at the high school gymnasium.

Mulberry High School graduation is Thursday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the C.B. "Cotton" Havener Gymnasium. The bus for Project Graduation will be leaving 30 minutes after the end of graduation.

Mountainburg High School graduation is Friday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the high school gymnasium.