HomeNewsObama Presidential Center set to have groundbreaking ceremony soon

Obama Presidential Center set to have groundbreaking ceremony soon

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The groundbreaking ceremony for the Obama Presidential Center has been set for 28th September in the South Side of Chicago. The presidential library has faced a large number of hurdles as there has been opposition and other delays. The former president along with the former first lady will join the governor of Illinois, J.B Pritzker, and the Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot during the ceremony. President Obama chose the site in a historic lakefront park on the South Side of Chicago to build his presidential library, near where he met and married his wife, began his political career and lived with their family. Michelle Obama grew up in the same area of Chicago.

Also Read: Chicago senior housing facility, Salud Center, construction completed

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The hurdles faced were mostly brought about due to a legal battle with park preservationists and protests from neighborhood activists who feared the planned US$500 million center would displace Black residents. Chicago’s City Council has since approved neighborhood protections. It has also approved a four-year federal review process that was needed because its location in Jackson Park, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was recently completed. It was officially announced in February that construction would begin this year, starting with the relocation of utility lines, followed by actual construction.

The former president has described the center as a hub for youth programming and public gatherings that will jumpstart the economy on the city’s South Side, parts of which are impoverished, by bringing attention, visitors, and jobs. It has been estimated by officials that the center will help create about 5,000 job opportunities, both during and after construction. The complex will sit on 19 acres of the 540-acre Jackson Park. It will include a museum, public library branch, athletic center, children’s play area, and a test kitchen.

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