Obama library will be built in Chicago, sources say

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Thursday, April 30, 2015
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Multiple sources close to the Obama Library Project say the Obama Presidential Library will be built on Chicago's South Side.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Obama Presidential Library will be built in Chicago, according to sources close to the Obama Library Project. Sources say the library will be built on the South Side near the University of Chicago.

"It's absolutely exciting," said Maurice Chapman, a South Side resident, "and I think it's important that it's located here on the South Side of Chicago."

The president is expected to come to Chicago in mid-May.

The exact location of the library is not yet known. The University of Chicago offered two possible locations, one in Jackson Park and another in Washington Park.

The University of Illinois - Chicago also bid for the library with a plan to build it in the North Lawndale neighborhood.

Chicago was also competing with New York City and Hawaii for the library.

"I really thought it was going to New York because I heard Michelle Obama really likes New York," said April Pangilinan, who works at the University of Chicago, "but I'm really glad that it's going to be here, his home town, so it's awesome."

In March, Mayor Emanuel and the City Council approved an ordinance allowing the transfer of 20 acres of city park land to the University, a move taken after the Obama Foundation expressed concerns that the land wouldn't be available.

"I don't want to look back after this decision and say we should have done something when it's all within our power to make it easy for the President to pick Chicago," Mayor Emanuel said at the time.

Officials from both schools said recently that no matter which site was chosen, the library belonged in Chicago.

"People get so invested in what side of town, who gets the library within the city," said Dr. Carol Adams, University of Chicago Community Advisory Board, at a meeting in March. "What is most paramount is that the library comes to Chicago."