“The Obamas want to create a safe, warm, inviting place that brings people in”
On Wednesday, former President Barack Obama traveled to Chicago to share a preliminary plan for his $500 million presidential center.
"The Obamas want to create a safe, warm, inviting place that brings people in, teaches them something new, and inspires them to create change in their own communities," Obama Foundation Chair Marty Nesbitt said during a roundtable presentation with more than 300 Chicago citizens. "The Center will be a place for doing, not just looking or listening."
On its site, the Obama Foundation added:
The Center will be a place for doing. It will include classrooms, labs, and outdoor spaces, and it will conduct programs that provide visitors with experiences that inspire and tools to make things happen in their own communities. The campus will be open to the public, and the Center will include indoor and outdoor spaces for events, trainings, and other gatherings.
The buildings, NPR reported, will be made up of variegated stone and will allow copious amounts of natural light to flow through with multiple glass openings. The project will be certified at LEED v4 Platinum for resource efficiency and sustainability.
In addition to creating a beautiful space for the people of Chicago to enjoy, the foundation added in its presentation that it will also "strengthen the economic climate of the community by bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the South Side every year, creating new jobs and opportunities on the South Side, and revitalizing historic Jackson Park.”
The center, Obama said during the presentation, will create several hundred permanent jobs in the area and will be built in the in the Jackson Park neighborhood of Chicago's South side. It is slated for completion in 2021.
In addition to revealing the center’s design, the Obamas also announced they will be personally donating $2 million to the city of Chicago to help grow its summer youth jobs program.