RNC organizers boast locally supported eventby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Republican National Convention is less than a month away, and the stage for presumptive nominee John McCain is taking shape.
Workers have roughed in the offices for reporters and party officials that ring the hockey arena. A huge oval truss circles the ceiling and the stage for the main convention events is taking shape on the 5th Street side of the arena.
It's the tenth convention Mike Miller has worked on. He is the director of convention operations for the gathering that starts September 1.
"You can see the lighting grid is up. Now the sound system goes in. We'll build the stage, we call it a podium, beneath it. We'll put in the floor seating the state signs, all the color, the decorations and that last week you'll see it all come together suddenly," Miller said.
About 300 workers are in the arena, building out the hall and stringing 25 miles of wire that stretches literally for blocks around the arena. Rehearsals will for the convention will likely start in a little over two weeks.
Organizers say most of the work is going to local companies.
Electricians, carpenters, network engineers and theatrical technicians from the around the region are finding work preparing for the convention.
Greg Lane is project director with the company making the convention preparations.
"We have some administrative and management people that we have that help run and organize the event, but beyond that, its all locally supported. I would say that over 90, 95 percent of the workers that you see here are all local," Lane said.
Lane said the project is ahead of schedule and that rehearsals could start in a little over two weeks.
- All Things Considered, 08/07/2008, 5:54 p.m.