President Barack Obama will speak at McKinley Senior High School when he makes his first trip to Baton Rouge as president on Thursday, the White House announced Monday.
The president is scheduled to be at the school between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Thursday and is speaking in the school’s gym. It will be a public event, but only a limited number of the school’s 1,400 students will be able to attend, said Adonica Duggan, a spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Parish school system.
A limited number of tickets will be distributed Tuesday, starting at 9 a.m., at the McKinley High School Alumni Center, 1512 Thomas H. Delpit Drive. One ticket per person will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The president’s remarks will be live-streamed at: whitehouse.gov/live.
The arrival and departure of Air Force One will be closed to the public.
The visit will mark Obama’s 10th trip to Louisiana during his time in office.
The stop comes after his seventh and final State of the Union address on Tuesday.
The White House alerted the East Baton Rouge Parish school system on Friday of the president’s desire to speak at a Baton Rouge public school. The team scouted Baton Rouge Magnet, McKinley and Tara high schools that day before settling Monday morning on McKinley, Duggan said.
McKinley High, which first opened a century ago, is a landmark in Louisiana history and for years was the only African-American high school in this part of the state. Duggan said McKinley was the first choice because of the school’s historical significance, but the advance team spent the weekend making sure it would work safety-wise.
Duggan said she doesn’t know what Obama will be discussing. She said a lot of work remains to get ready for Thursday.
“We have to arrange for what amounts to a Friday night football game in the middle of the school day,” Duggan said.