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Obamas break ground on presidential center in Chicago

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama
Posted at 4:17 PM, Sep 28, 2021

Former President Barack Obama held a ceremonial groundbreaking for his presidential center in Chicago.

Barack Obama was joined by his wife, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, to break ground on the complex, which will feature a museum, a library, and a child play area.

"We want this to be a living, thriving home for concerts, cultural events, lectures, trainings, summits, topical dialogues, and conversations," Mr. Obama said. "We want this to be a hub for in house fellows with real world experience to share what’s working and what’s not in solving the big problems of the day.”

The presidential center is being built on Chicago's South Side, where Mrs. Obama grew up and the couple currently lives.

The former first lady said it was important to give back to a community that has given them so much.

"This investment, this substantial investment in the South Side will help make the neighborhood that we call home a destination for the entire world," Mrs. Obama said.

After years of legal battles with activists who wanted to preserve Jackson Park, construction officially began on the project last month.

The presidential center is expected to cost about $830 million, which is being raised from private donations.

Construction is expected to take four years to complete.