By Scott Halasz
March 21, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — Want your city, university or nonprofit group to be chosen to host President Barack Obama’s presidential library?
Now’s the time to get started. The foundation that will develop and choose the site for Obama’s future library asked interested parties Thursday to submit their initial proposals. The “request for qualifications” offers the most detailed look to date at what the president and first lady Michelle Obama are seeking for what will be the permanent monument to their White House legacy.
“Our vision is to create a space that reflects President Obama’s values and priorities throughout his career in public service and serves as force for good in the surrounding community and throughout our world,” said Marty Nesbitt, the Chicago businessman and longtime Obama friend who chairs the Barack Obama Foundation.
Illinois, New York and Hawaii are all expected to compete for Obama’s library, which is anticipated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, attract a flurry of visitors and drive economic development in the surrounding community. Chicago and Honolulu have been working on their own proposals for years. Those and other communities will have until June 16 to submit details about their proposed sites, including current zoning rules, topographical surveys, tourism statistics and information about accessibility to transportation.
Over the summer, the foundation will score those proposals, then cull the list and invite selected groups to submit more formal, detailed applications. Once the final applications are scored, the foundation will make primary and secondary location recommendations to the project’s leadership before making a presentation to the president and Mrs. Obama in the fall.
The Obamas will make the final decision, and the foundation plans to announce the winner in the first months of 2015.