CHICAGO, Illinois — Former President Barack Obama received a $5 million contribution from the Nike Foundation to help build an athletic facility at the Obama Presidential Center.
The facility at the Obama Presidential Center will be a community space, where many aspects will be free and open to Chicagoans and visitors from around the world. Anyone will be able to jump into a dance class or join a pickup basketball game.
The inclusion of a community recreation facility is in keeping with the open feel of the Center’s campus, which aims to break down barriers. The very presence of an athletic facility underlines how much the power of sport is woven into President and Mrs. Obama’s identities.
The other three buildings on campus will be a museum, a forum for public meetings and programming and a library in partnership with the Chicago Public Library, which will all wrap around a main plaza.
Elsewhere on the campus, housed in Chicago’s Jackson Park, there will be new gardens, a two-acre playground, paths for jogging and strolling, a huge green lawn for playing and a hill for sledding.
The Obama Presidential Center will be the first U.S. presidential center or library to include a community recreation facility. It will also include a museum to tell the story of President Obama’s historic presidency; a branch of the Chicago Public Library; an auditorium; children’s recreation areas and a sledding hill; and a public plaza for community gatherings and performances.