It’s been a long time coming, five years to be exact, but the groundbreaking for former President Barack Obama’s “Obama Presidential Center” on Chicago’s South Side has finally happened! Today Barack, former First Lady Michelle Obama, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and other officials were present to see the building. The center will have a library, museum, athletic center, forum building, public plaza, play area, and a branch of the Chicago Public Library.
Although construction began last month, the center, along Lake Michigan, near the Obama family home, will take some time before it’s open to the public. Reports from NBC Chicago state it’ll be at least five years before it’s complete. Barack spoke at the groundbreaking and said he hopes Chicago’s Obama Presidential Center inspires young leaders.
“We didn’t start in Washington. I didn’t start as president. I started right down the street, and the lessons I learned in these neighborhoods ended up shaping the rest of my life,” he stated. Michelle also shared a message about the center that is in her native neighborhood of Jackson Park. An area she says still defines her at her core, shaping her values and actions throughout her life.
“No matter what I’ve accomplished, or who I’ve met, or where I’ve gone, one of my greatest honors is being a proud Chicagoan, a daughter of the South Side,” said Michelle. The center, which will sit on 19 acres of the 540-acre Jackson Park, will be unique compared to other presidential libraries. The estimated cost alone is the most expensive out of all libraries.
NBC Chicago also reports the initial cost of the center was projected at $500 million, but updated documents released by the Obama Foundation last month showed it is now roughly $830 million. Some funds are currently being raised through private donations.
Roomies, are yall excited about the center?
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