Preparations kick into high gear with VP debate days away

DANVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - The clock is ticking as Centre College and the town of Danville race to finish the preparations for the Vice Presidential Debate just 14 days away.

"There's a lot of challenges to it, but it's a lot of fun," beamed Clarence Wyatt, co-chair of the Centre College Debate Steering Committee.

Some changes are barely noticeable around campus. Others not so much, as fences and barriers are being set up along the campus walkways and roads.

"Security is starting to get tighter around here," noted Sophomore Kari Anderson.

More fences will follow as the time gets closer to the debate, and the Danville police warn of more roads closing down.

"We have tried to set up a plan that will allow for maximum safety for both candidates, and to minimize intrusion to the public as least as possible," explained Chief Tony Gray, adding, "Hopefully these changes will be for the best."

The town will look different since the last time the debate rolled through town, in 2000, because that was before the September 11th attacks.

"It's more complex, now," said Wyatt.

Chief Gray explained, "People who came back in 2000 will see a more fortified Centre College campus."

Chief Gray went on to say that his department has been in close contact with the Secret Service and the state police to cover every aspect. He said the Secret Service will focus solely on the candidates, KSP will handle other security elements, and Danville police will keep their eyes on the town.

Not every change is about security, a lot of it is about putting on the best show possible.

"At its core, it's a big television show and all of the preparations build out from that," described Wyatt.

Seats have been pulled out of the theater to make room for media risers, areas around campus have been converted to allow for workspace, and the campus is having to put up a stronger, separate network for Internet access. Wyatt figured more than 14-and-a-half miles of cable have been run in preparation.

Today the campus put the network to the test, asking students to get on their phones and computers and see if the system could handle the strain.

While the campus and the town has had to go to great lengths, everyone knows it will all be worth it because this event will again put the town and Centre College right in the center of attention.

"We'll be ready on game day."

You can see the debate between Vice President Joe Biden and VP candidate Paul Ryan live on WKYT.


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