Construction on the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago was suspended on Thursday, November 11, after a noose was found on the construction site. The center is set to be the home of the Barack Obama Foundation and the Presidential Library.
Lakeside Alliance, a group of multiple construction companies building the center, stated the discovery, saying that they are providing a series of training and conversations for the staff and workers and are “horrified” by the incident.
“We are suspending all operations on site in order to provide another series of these training and conversations for all staff and workers,” the statement read. “We are horrified that this would occur on our site … Lakeside Alliance remains committed to providing a work environment where everyone can feel safe, be their best self, and be treated with dignity and respect.”
The Obama Foundation also issued a statement following the discovery of the noose as well. “This shameless act of cowardice and hate is designed to get attention and divide us. Our priority is protecting the health and safety of our workforce,” the foundation’s statement read.
The center was announced in 2015 when The Barack Obama Foundation officially announced that Chicago’s South Side would be home to the presidential center. Obama’s birthplace of Honolulu was also considered but Chicago was chosen instead as Obama stated that’s where his political career began and where he met his wife, Michelle Obama.