Wake Forest University has implemented a plan that addresses campus access, parking and other logistical issues during the time surrounding the Oct. 11 presidential debate in the university’s Wait Chapel.
The university developed the plan to provide for the needs of the university community while addressing the logistical requirements of the debate, campus debate organizers said.
“Our goal has been to reduce inconvenience to the university community as much as possible, while providing all that is necessary to host the debate at Wake Forest,” said Sandra Boyette, vice president for university advancement. “A number of people have worked hard to develop the best plan to achieve both.”
The university recently distributed letters to students, faculty and staff to announce the plan. Members of the Reynolda Campus community also received maps that provide parking details.
Wake Forest is expecting thousands of visitors during the days leading up to the debate, including members of the media, campaign representatives, law enforcement officials and those attending the debate. The plan is intended, in part, to address parking needs for those visitors and the university community.
The university will staff its University Parkway and Reynolda Road gatehouses continuously from 10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, until noon Thursday, Oct. 12. During this time, the university’s Polo Road entrance will remain closed to vehicles. The gatehouses will operate for a number of reasons, particularly security and parking management.
The university will remain open to the public during the time around the debate, but the plan does not provide for public parking, except in special cases. Members of the public on campus during that period, including those walking onto campus, will be expected to carry photo identification. University students, faculty and staff have been asked to carry their Wake Forest ID.
On-campus parking will be reserved mostly for students, faculty and staff who live on campus, and for news media trucks and equipment. Some campus areas must remain clear to meet Secret Service security requirements.
The university has reserved several off-campus parking lots for students, faculty and staff, as well as the media. Shuttles will run continuously between the off-campus lots and the Reynolda campus, except for the lots directly across from campus. All shuttle passengers will be asked to show photo identification.
Students who live on campus will park at Groves Stadium, if they do not find parking on campus or if they drive off campus after 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8. Faculty and staff of the Reynolda Campus will park in a different lot near Groves Stadium. Commuting students will park in other off-campus lots near campus.
Members of the media will also be required to park at Groves Stadium and take the shuttle to the university.
Off-campus parking for members of the public has been provided for certain events.
Gatehouse staff at the University Parkway and Reynolda Road entrances to campus will have detailed parking information.
In addition to parking and campus access, the university’s plan also identifies buildings that will be used for debate activities, and the times the buildings or parts of them will be closed. The debate will be held in Wait Chapel. The adjoining Wingate Hall, the only classroom building affected by debate activities, will provide offices for various groups involved in the debate. The media will use Benson University Center and portions of Reynolda Hall.
The plan also addresses food service on campus. Some dining areas are extending their hours, because two dining locations- a food court in Benson Center and the Magnolia Room in Reynolda Hall- will be closed to the university community. The Benson Center food court will provide meals for the media and the Magnolia Room will be used for media office space.
The university will also serve meals for students at a temporary site on campus-a tent set up on the patio of Reynolda Hall.
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