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A First Look at the Inaugural Platform A First Look at the Inaugural Platform

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A First Look at the Inaugural Platform


Construction on the inaugural platform is under budget as of Dec. 11, 2012. The final platform, which will cost about $1.2 million, will hold 1600 people for the Jan. 21 ceremony to swear-in President Barack Obama. (Erin Mershon)

At least one thing in Washington is coming in on schedule and under budget this week: the inaugural platform on the Capitol's West Front.

Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who chair the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, held a press conference on Tuesday to show off progress on the platform. About 1,600 lawmakers, governors, cabinet members, former presidents, and Supreme Court justices will join President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and their families at the Jan. 21 ceremony to swear in the president for his second term.

The 10,000-square-foot platform, which will cost about $1.2 million, is the same size as the one used in 2005, which was the largest ever built. It has taken more than a year to plan, and construction began in September.

Two choirs, one from Schumer's Brooklyn, N.Y., and the other from Alexander's Cleveland, Tenn., will sing from bleachers above the platform, on the balcony of the Capitol--a bit of bipartisan fun for the ceremony, Schumer said.



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