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Taxslayer Center gets ready to host first graduation ceremony since the pandemic

The center set to host their first ceremony on the same day Illinois "Bridge Phase" takes full effect.

The Taxslayer Center began preparation for upcoming graduation ceremonies. The first ceremony will take place Friday – the same day Illinois’ “Bridge Phase” is set to take full effect.

“Unfortunately the Bridge Phase doesn't really affect us because of social distancing, we need to maintain six feet between groups,” Taxslayer Executive Director, Scott Mullen said.

The center can open to 28% capacity, translating roughly to 3,000 people.

Back in March, the center heavily limited attendees at the Missouri Valley Women's Basketball Tournament. 50 fans were allowed in the stands; each team allowed 25 attendees.

The Taxslayer center used a social distancing layout for the ceremony. Chairs will be sectioned off by threes in order to create pods throughout the crowd.

“The people that are sitting close to each other, are the guests in from the same household as the people that are getting the degrees,” Mullen said.

Though the Bridge Phase won't change much for the 14 upcoming graduation ceremonies, Mullen sees a bright summer ahead.

“There's light at the end of the tunnel, you know, it's an indicator of what's going to come in the following month. It's great to get started up here again, get events going and start to have some business coming in and seeing employees coming back.”

Nearly 500 Taxslayer employees were furloughed during the pandemic, but Mullen hopes to bring those employees back early June.