U. of C. unfazed by reports that Chicago Obama library bid in jeopardy

By LINDSAY WELBERS
Staff Writer

The University of Chicago released a statement last Wednesday after an unnamed source told news outlets that Chicago’s bids for the Obama Presidential Library could be on the chopping block.

“The University of Chicago is leading a strong, collaborative South Side bid designed to create exciting opportunities for the Barack Obama Presidential Library and for economic development that will greatly benefit our neighboring communities and the Chicago region as a whole,” Susan Sher, who is leading the U. of C.’s charge, said.

The Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet reported that the Barack Obama Foundation put the U. of C. on notice because it does not own and has not outlined a path for the land ownership on any of the sites it proposed.

Officially the university’s bid is sealed, but it said that it proposed a site west of Garfield Park, one at the South Shore Cultural Center and a third near Jackson Park. “Chicago’s South Side is the best location for the Obama Presidential Library and we have been working closely with city officials and other stakeholders on our dynamic proposal with three excellent potential sites for the presidential library. We will continue to do whatever we can to ensure a smooth public process, focused on producing tangible benefits for our communities and building lasting partnerships that will sustain the presidential library far into the future,” Sherr said.

The same source raised doubts that leadership changes at the University of Illinois at Chicago would create a stable outlook.

Kenwood resident and Obama friend Marty Nesbitt is leading the Obama Foundation.

l.welbers@hpherald.com