After a noose was discovered at the construction site on Thursday, the company developing the Obama Presidential Center ceased operations and announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
A group of Black-owned construction companies called Lakeside Alliance stated it reported the incident to the authorities and “would provide whatever support needed to find individuals guilty.”
“Any bias or hatred is not tolerated at our workplace. Our onboarding procedure includes anti-bias training and is reemphasized during site-wide gatherings.
The company added that all location operations would be put on hold while we do another round of these training and discussions with all employees.
The foundation of former president Barack Obama also issued a statement.
“This reprehensible act of cowardice and hatred is meant to garner publicity and drive a wedge between us. The statement read: “Protecting the health and safety of our personnel is our top responsibility.
According to Sgt. Rocco Alioto, a department spokeswoman, said the Chicago Police Department is aware of the noose and is looking into the situation.
Lara Cooper, a spokesperson for the partnership, said she could not comment on whether the organization suspected a worker at the location or how the interruption will affect the work.
The city started preparing for construction in the spring of 2021, and the groundbreaking occurred in September of the same year.
The center is expected to open in 2025, according to the foundation. The organizers anticipate it will draw roughly 750,000 people.
The structure will be located on 19 acres (7.7 hectares) of the 540-acre (291-hectare) Jackson Park, which bears Andrew Jackson’s name as the country’s seventh president.
Significantly, it will be close to the Obamas’ home and the South Side neighborhood where the former president began his political career.
According to a 2018, Chicago City Council enacted ordinance, the city would own the center.
The initial cost estimate was $500 million, but according to documents made public by the Obama Foundation this summer, the final price ended up being around $830 million. Private donations are used to raise money.