KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) - As President Barack Obama's visit to deliver the commencementaddress for Kalamazoo Central High School nears, Linda Martin ishoping her Grand Rapids company will land the job to provide thestaging, lighting and audio for the event.
"We're going to offer them a turn-key package," Martin told 24Hour News 8 Wednesday. Her firm, Levitation, is one of a handfulvying for the work at Western Michigan University's arena. Thecompany was responsible for similar work at the president'sUniversity of Michigan commencement address. in May, Martinsaid.
The White House is expected to pick the winning bid Thursday,according to WMU facilities vice president Peter Strazdas, and theadministration will be covering the cost of the work.
"You're looking at competitive bids in action right now,"Strazdas said, as he walked 24 Hour News 8 around the arena to lookat the preparations for the speech.
Workers will be at the arena "almost around the clock" untilMonday morning, he said. On Wednesday, preparation includedtouching-up paint, covering advertisements and meetings focused onsecurity, transportation, logistics and layout. Officials do notdiscuss security specifics for safety reasons.
"The graduates come around, come across the stage, shake thepresident's hand, receive the diploma," and come back down a set ofsteps, Strazdas explained.
Kalamazoo Central graduates will get the floor seats facing thepresident. Parents and guests of the graduates will sit on one sideof the arena. On the other, some 9th-through-11th-grade studentsfrom Central and graduates of the other Kalamazoo public highschools.
All of those guests need tickets and Wednesday at KalamazooPublic Schools headquarters, counting them was one of thepre-commencement tasks.
Stay with 24 Hour News 8 and woodtv.com for complete coverage of President Obama's visit on Monday.
The wolf season started on Nov. 15 and runs through December.
Joshua Hoppe, 30, from Zeeland was a teacher with Hamilton Community Schools.
Nobody was injured and no personal belongings were stolen.