The delay in opening Barack Obama’s presidential center has set a new record as groundbreaking for the center is set to possibly begin this summer.
In recent decades, presidential libraries were opened in about half the time as its taken for Obama’s to even pass the review to get erected, the Wall Street Journal reports. Obama’s center was scheduled to open this year, but a number of lawsuits, fundraising efforts, and federal reviews have caused an increased delay.
It took a little over 1,000 days from Ronald Regan’s last day in office for The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to welcome visitors. Bill Clinton’s took 1,398 days. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush averaged 1,653 days while Obama’s center is set to open more than 3,100 days since the 44th president’s final day in office.
Obama’s center is expected to include a museum, offices for his Obama Foundation, a public library, and recreational space, The Hill reported. However, the center has faced a number of legal challenges and federal reviews that have prevented its construction from even beginning.
The building was set to be built inside Jackson Park in Chicago’s South Side. The location is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has faced opposition from the nonprofit Protect Our Parks. The organization feels the center would cause traffic disruptions and environmental damage.
Officials for the center have responded to community outcry by pledging to devote 35 percent of construction jobs to residents of Chicago’s South and West sides, according to The Hill. They also promise to provide funding for job training.
“The Obama Presidential Center represents a historic opportunity for Chicago: a chance to build a world-class museum and public gathering space that celebrates our nation’s first African American President and First Lady,” a spokesperson for the center said.
“Not only will the Center generate billions of dollars of economic opportunity and help revitalize Jackson Park, it will also serve as a reminder to young visitors–from around the city and around the world–that their potential is limitless,” the statement said adding that it will be “a first of its kind for a presidential center.”