President Barack Obama smiles in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 7, 2015, during an event where the he honored the U.S. Air Force Academy football team with the Commander-in-Chief Trophy. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Barack Obama Foundation is set to announce May 12 that the President Barack Obama library and museum center will be built in Chicago’s South Side on the campus of the University of Chicago.
The decision to select the University of Chicago is the result of a yearlong competition which began with 13 bids from entities such as Columbia University in New York, where the president attended undergraduate school. The University of Illinois in Chicago, where Obama taught constitutional law for more than a decade, was also one of the top finalists.
Sources acknowledge that the decision to build the library and museum in Chicago stems from the first family’s personal ties with the city. For Obama, the South Side of Chicago was where he launched his political career as state and U.S. senator, including his start as a community organizer. The South Side of Chicago is also hometown to first lady Michelle Obama.
According to Forbes, the library and museum is also being built on the South Side of Chicago in hopes that the new infrastructure will spur economic growth in the city. A University of Chicago report cited by NBC Chicago found that Obama’s library could draw close to 800,000 visitors per year, create 1,900 permanent jobs and generate close to $220 million in annual revenue.