MILWAUKEE -- Workers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Wednesday, February 10th were finishing up preparations for the Democratic presidential debate set for February 11th.
The UWM Student Union's "Ballroom" will serve as the media spin room on Thursday evening.
UWM Student Union
The Student Union is serving as a temporary home for students displaced to make room for the debate.
When preparing for a presidential debate...
"There's a lot of dominoes," Randall Trubull-Holper, UWM Peck School of the Arts facilities director said. "We got into this building on Monday morning and found out that our five-octave marimba would not fit up the elevator at all. It`s a 300-400 pound instrument. It`s eight feet long, and so it was me and some percussionists lifting it straight up the stairs," Trumbull-Holper said.
UWM music students
As the students settled into their temporary digs ahead of the debate, UWM police said their advice for Thursday is quite simple.
Joseph LeMire, UWM police chief
"If you`re not attending the event or coming to the event, you may wanna choose to take other routes so it doesn`t get bottlenecked around the area," Joseph LeMire, UWM police chief said.
Starting at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, Kenwood, which runs past the Helen Bader Concert Hall, inside the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, where the debate will take place, will close between Maryland and Downer.
Prospect, Farwell and Stowell will also close between Kenwood and Linwood.
"We`re working with the neighbors so they have access to their homes -- but other than those folks, we`re gonna be closed off to other people," LeMire said.
UWM police said part of Kenwood will be closed to pedestrians for safety reasons.
Street closures due to Democratic presidential debate at UWM
For far more personal reasons, university staff will put out a portable bathroom near the stage.
"We want to make sure no one is late getting back to the stage," Trumbull-Holper said.
UW-Milwaukee to host Democratic presidential debate on February 11th
The problem is, though, those bathrooms have an outdoor tank and with frigid temperatures forecast for Thursday night, Trumbull-Holper doesn't want to take any risks.
"We`re hoping to get a series of propane heaters that can blow at that tank and keep it warm," Trumbull-Holper said.
Trumbull-Holper made his own sacrifice ahead of the debate -- moving out of his office to make room for one of the candidates' campaign staff.
Important traffic notes for Thursday in Milwaukee:
The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) is partnering with the Department of Public Works (DPW), the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), and other local stakeholders to inform the public of traffic and pedestrian impacts due to the Democratic presidential debate scheduled for Thursday, February 11th, 2016 at the UWM Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd.
The public should be aware of the following:
Additional traffic information:
The debate is a ticketed event, is sold out, and only those with tickets may enter the event. Pedestrian access adjacent to the event will be restricted beginning at 8:00 a.m.
Parking in the UWM area will be in high demand. Those coming to the area are asked to plan ahead by allowing extra travel time, be prepared to walk several blocks to the event, or use public transportation.
MPD will have extra officers in the area to ensure safety and security, and to assist the public during the event.
Traffic map for Democratic presidential debate at UWM
CLICK HERE for further traffic information related to the Democratic presidential debate at UWM.