Following a successful federal regulatory review, construction of the Obama Presidential Centre (OPC) in Chicago will begin in the second half of 2021.
Pre-construction work such as the relocation of utility lines will take place in April and preliminary roadwork and physical construction will begin in August.
Barack Obama commented: "The centre will create jobs and economic opportunity, especially for South Side residents – because we believe the team that’s building the centre should look like the community it calls home. And through the museum, the centre will be a place to honour history while inspiring young people to write chapters of their own.
"Today, with the conclusion of a careful federal review process that spanned several years, we’re ready to get to work. Through this process, we’ve shown that our plans for the Obama Presidential Centre -including new gardens, playgrounds, walking trails, and bike paths for all to enjoy – won’t just preserve historic Jackson Park, they’ll bring opportunity and breathe new life into the community we love."
Located in Jackson Park, the 19-acre OPC will contain a museum, a branch of Chicago’s public library, an athletic centre, rooftop space, green community areas, a children’s play area, a teaching kitchen and a fruit and vegetable garden.
The $500m project will be funded by the Obama Foundation and will be turned over to the city when complete. The foundation will also finance operating costs. The city of Chicago will invest in infrastructure improvements to attract private investment to the area.
The foundation has committed to awarding 50% of the subcontracting packages to diverse vendors. Construction is due to be completed by 2025.
Images courtesy of the Obama Foundation