Obama Foundation Submits Formal Plans To City For Presidential Center Construction

14 January, 2018, 00:53 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • University Professors Sign Letter in Support of Obama Center Benefits Agreement

"We urge the Obama Foundation to explore alternative sites on the South Side that could be developed with more economic benefits, better public transportation, and less cost to taxpayers".

The library's design and location has been a source of controversy itself within the Chicago community.

Obama was born in Hawaii, but lived in Chicago after college and met the former first lady, Michelle, there.

The letter closes with a blistering criticism of the project's estimated cost, which the professors argue will easily exceed $100 million and fall exclusively on the shoulders of the taxpayer. However, it questions the decision to locate the center in Jackson Park.

Finally, the letter raises concerns about the Obama Center's cost to taxpayers.

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More than 100 U of C faculty members who say they support the location of an Obama Center near the campus nevertheless are opposing plans for it on economic and preservation grounds.

Mr. Obama served as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.

The foundation, however, announced Monday that it has opted to drop the plans for an above-ground garage in favor of an underground parking lot, according to the Associated Press. Martin Nesbitt, Chair of the Obama Foundation board, said that the changes are the result of "thousands of conversations" with local residents and activists. "The economic impact to the people who live there now would be unbelievable".

"While we don't expect everyone to agree with every element of the plan, we look forward to working with people across the community and the city to make the most of the opportunity to create a global destination that will showcase the South Side to the world", the spokesperson said in a statement. Obama Presidential Center is "socially regressive". The foundation has adapted plans after hearing from the community and has committed to projects and programs to improve lives on the Southside.



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