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Obama Library Construction Pegged At $350 Million, To Take 3 Years

By Sam Cholke | June 15, 2017 10:52am | Updated on June 16, 2017 11:04am
 The main structure of the Obama Presidential Center is expected to be just off Midway Plaisance.
The main structure of the Obama Presidential Center is expected to be just off Midway Plaisance.
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Courtesy of the Obama Foundation

JACKSON PARK — The Obama Foundation is looking for a construction manager that can get the Barack Obama Presidential Center built for $350 million in three years to open by 2021.

In a packet released Thursday, the foundation released new details about the expected size and cost of the center and where it is in the planning process and the amenities.

Construction is expected to start in fall 2018 and take 2½-3 years. The final suite of buildings on the campus is expected to be 200,000 to 250,000 square feet, about half the size of the exhibit space at the Museum of Science and Industry, according to the packet.

There are no estimates of the final cost of the campus, which some estimates have put as high as $500 million.

The architects are still in the schematic design, typically the first phase of a project in which the structure begins to be defined, but no work has happened on how the mechanical systems would work or how specific areas would be laid out.

But there are new clues about what sort of amenities the center wants.

The packet says the center likely will include one or more restaurants, a bookstore, a public library, audio and visual production studios, an auditorium, classrooms and office space, as well as the main museum, some parking and outdoor activity areas.

It is the first reference so far that the center’s campus might include some parking. The foundation has said recently it is paying for survey work on a portion of the Midway Plaisance where the foundation would like to see another group build a parking garage.

The foundation again is underlining the importance of including minority- and women-owned businesses and is asking all teams that want the job to outline how they will make sure the construction process is as inclusive as possible.

The construction management team is expected to be selected in the fall.