The Coastal Star

Boca Raton: Work transforms theater and gym for media-heavy event

 The interior of the Wold Performing Arts Center is
designed to resemble the inside of a violin. Photo provided

For more information on the Boca Raton Presidential Debate: Privilege, price accompany presidential debate | Philanthropists propelled Lynn University to world stage | 

Editor's Note: Presidential debate shines a spotlight on Boca Raton

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 By Tim Pallesen

Christine Lynn realized last month what the impact of the presidential debate would be when a Vermont innkeeper asked if she was the Mrs. Lynn at Lynn University.

“In years past, nobody knew where Lynn University was,” Lynn said. “Now we’re on the map all over the U.S. and around the world.”

The university is named for Lynn and her late husband, Eugene. Their contributions include $10 million for Lynn’s library and another $10 million for a five-story residence hall.

Other wealthy Boca Raton residents have given to grow the 123-acre campus with its 2,100 students, too.

Now, along with corporate sponsors, those benefactors are contributing money to pay the university’s $5 million cost for the 9 p.m. presidential debate on Monday, Oct. 22.

“This is our moment to shine and show the best of ourselves,” Lynn President Kevin Ross said. 

More than 100 miles of cable have been laid to power 70 TV satellite trucks to broadcast Barack Obama and Mitt Romney around the world from the university’s performing arts theater.

Signs and colorful platings invigorate one of the sidewalks on campus

Photo by JerryLower/The Coastal Star

The Secret Service has closed the theater as workers build booths inside for the six big news networks: ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN and C-Span.

But Christine Lynn got a peek and calls it “amazing” how the theater has been transformed for the world to see. 

She reports the five back rows of seats were removed for the TV booths. More seats were taken for TV cameras. 

The university transformed its gymnasium into a media center, where up to 3,000 journalists will work.

Another big cost has been the widening of Military Trail at Lynn ’s main entrance and the creation of a second entrance off Potomac Road. 

Students, alumni and friends of Lynn University are invited to a barbecue on debate day and a viewing party on the soccer field.

But others should stay away from Military Trail between Glades Road and Spanish River Boulevard, Boca Raton Police Capt. Coy Dixon said.

“The public definitely should expect traffic delays around Lynn University,” Dixon said.

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