Though reports came in at the beginning of the month that the groundbreaking for the Obama Presidential Center had been put on hold, big funding in support of the project is still rolling in.
The Nike Foundation is the latest contributor to the Obama Foundation, donating $5 million to the project; specifically to fund the athletic facility within the Presidential Center. The athletic facility will invite the community to take part in physical activity year round, highlighting the importance of teamwork and exercise through sports.
As highlighted by Jorge Casimiro, Nike’s Chief Social & Community Impact Officer and Nike Foundation President, “The very presence of an athletic facility underlines how much the power of sport is woven into President and Mrs. Obama’s identities. President Obama, after all, is famous for his NCAA brackets and his love of the White Sox, and the Obama family inspired kids everywhere to get moving.”
The Obama Foundation predicted the campus, to be housed in Jackson Park on Chicago’s South Side. The center will include four different spaces for public gatherings; much of the center will be free and open to the public.
A museum, which will serve as a historic landmark that tell the Obamas’ story, civil rights and African-American history, and the history of Chicago and United States.
A two-story building called “The Forum,” will be dedicated to public meetings, programming, performances and content creation for broadcast. This space will even have a restaurant and winter garden.
The Obama Foundation has also entered partnership with the Chicago Public Library, so the center’s library will support as a new 5,000-square-foot public branch to Jackson Park. As can be expected, world-class technology will be at use for the public.
In addition to the public meeting spaces, an outdoor recreation area will be constructed to include walking paths and a sledding hill.
However, with the postponement of construction there is still no updated schedule for when the center will finally open; the projected opening would be in 2021.