Final preparations underway in Galesburg for President Obama's visit

By Denise Jackson

July 23, 2013 Updated Jul 23, 2013 at 7:25 PM CDT

GALESBURG, Ill. -- In Knox County, security plans are being finalized for President Obama's visit to Galesburg on Wednesday.

Crews emptied semi trucks that were parked outside Memorial Gymnasium on Knox College Campus in Galesburg Tuesday morning.

On the back side of the building workers were preparing U.S. flags that will be posted inside. It's all part of the last minute details for President Obama's visit on Wednesday.

"We've had excellent cooperation, both internally with our own internal departments. Facilities services for example, who had the responsibility for the building, the grounds to campus safety which has responsibility for the law enforcement side," said Knox College Campus Safety Director John Schlaf.

A tent near the gym's west entrance is where a metal detector will be used to screen ticket holders going inside the gym to hear the President.
College employees, in the middle of summer work, shifted their focus and efforts to the President's visit.

"All our staff went to the gym and took care of cleaning of the gym. There's a lot of preparation going on, people going in and out of there and we all just have to buckle down," said Knox College employee Karen Ford-Kelley.

Like with most presidential visits, the details of Mr. Obama's agenda are secret for security purposes but Knox College officials said the President is scheduled to be in the area for two hours.

Temporary fencing has also been put up around the west end of campus. Knox College officials said there is no designated public viewing area and only those people with tickets to the President's speech are encouraged to come to the event.