Corps to Host Best Dam Graduation Ever

Published June 2, 2020
Corps to Host Warren Area High School Class of 2020 Graduation at Kinzua

Corps to Host Warren Area High School Class of 2020 Graduation at Kinzua

The Warren Area High School’s Class of 2020 will drive, not walk, across a dam stage Friday, June 5, at 5:30 p.m. as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District hosts the pandemic-inspired commencement at Kinzua Dam.

"These circumstances have been difficult for everyone involved,” said Maj. Scott Darhower, acting commander, Pittsburgh District. “The district is honored to be part of this momentous occasion for the students. It's great to be part of the memories created.”

Family and friends are encouraged to show their support to the WAHS Class of 2020 as they travel on Pennsylvania Avenue towards the dam while abiding by appropriate social distancing measures. Due to the narrow nature of the route, onlookers are asked to refrain from parking or traveling on Hemlock Road during the event.

The schedule for the event is as follows:

  • The motorcade begins at the west end of Pennsylvania Avenue at 5:30 p.m.
  • Students will be grouped into flights and released at intervals to travel Pennsylvania Avenue to Hemlock Road.
  • Graduates will receive their diploma covers while crossing the dam in their vehicles with their families.
  • Each graduate, prior to exiting the dam, may briefly exit the vehicle for a photo opportunity.
  • After crossing the dam, families should travel west on State Route 59 to return to Warren.

“We thank the Corps for graciously hosting this event and helping to organize the proceedings,” said Amy Stewart, superintendent of the Warren County School District. “The opportunity to cross the Kinzua Dam - a first for Warren County graduates - is a gesture for which the Warren County School District Board of School Directors and administration offer their sincere appreciation. It is our hope that this event serves as a unique and memorable experience for students and their families.”  

“Kinzua Dam was built to support the Warren community and withhold the strength of water,” said Maj. Darhower. “We celebrate the community and the strength of the students. It's exciting to consider the potential they have to impact our nation. We offer our congratulations to graduates and celebrate their great achievements." 

The event involves the collaboration and cooperation of the Warren County School District, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, City of Warren Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Warren County Commissioners, Warren County Emergency Management Department and U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson.

Any questions concerning the event should be directed to Amy Stewart, superintendent, at 814-723-6900 ext. 1009 or email

For media inquiries, contact the Public Affairs Office at 412-395-7500/01/02 or email

Pittsburgh District’s 26,000 square miles include portions of western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio, western Maryland and southwestern New York. Our jurisdiction includes more than 328 miles of navigable waterways, 23 navigation locks and dams, 16 multi-purpose reservoirs, 42 local flood-protection projects and other projects to protect and enhance the nation’s water resources, infrastructure and environment.

The district’s additional missions include water supply, emergency response, and regulation of the Clean Water Act. The Corps often partners with local communities to improve water supply, sanitary sewer and stormwater infrastructure. During disasters, the district manages the nation’s emergency power contract which provides temporary power to downed critical infrastructure. District personnel deploy overseas to help build, manage and administer water resource infrastructure projects.


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Carol Vernon
1000 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Release no. 20-017