Rumors the Obama Presidential Library will be built outside of Illinois have been greatly exaggerated, according to supporters of one library bid in Chicago. Despite reports First Lady Michelle Obama is leaning towards selecting Columbia University in New York as the site of the library, Marcus Betts, the spokesman of the North Lawndale Presidential Library Committee, says there’s nothing to indicate their bid or any other in Chicago has already lost.
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“It’s been very clear that this is not a done deal,” Betts said. “We are in the evaluation stage. The foundation is in the process of evaluating and the president and the first lady have not made a decision.”
The North Lawndale site is one of several Chicago sites being considered, along with possible locations in and around the University of Chicago, where Obama was once an instructor. A site in Hawaii is also in the running.
Betts admits the bid to build the library in his community seems like a long shot, but says having the facility there would spur new development in the neighborhood, as well as create new public park space. Competing Chicago bids have been criticized for using existing park land.
A decision on the library site is expected next month.