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16 Apr 2024

Multipurpose sports facility will be first completed building at Obama Presidential Center

Multipurpose sports facility will be first completed building at Obama Presidential Center

The Obama Foundation has revealed new details, including renderings and a ‘fly-through’ video, of the Home Court, an athletic and event facility being built at the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.

Elevate Design Builders, a joint venture led by Bowa Construction, an African American-owned firm based in Chicago, and AECOM/Hunt, are leading the facility’s construction. Moody Nolan, the largest African American design firm in the U.S., is the design partner for the Elevate Design Build team. Their selection aligns with the Foundation’s goal of providing leadership opportunities to diverse firms.

The Home Court’s design is inspired by President Obama’s passion for basketball and community building, with a sleek metal and glass exterior symbolizing a basketball net and community connection.

“Our firm is honored to build an athletic center for President Obama, whose leadership has inspired countless people,” said Nosa Ehimwenman, Founder of Bowa Construction. “This project is a legacy of empowerment and progress, creating positive change for the community and beyond.”

The Home Court will be the first space within the Obama Presidential Center campus to open in late 2025.

Located at the southwest corner of the 19.3-acre campus, the 45,000 square-foot Home Court will serve as the largest gathering space on site, dedicated to health and wellness activities, community events, and opportunities for engagement.

The Home Court includes a gymnasium with a regulation-size NBA court and intersecting practice courts, flexible seating, exercise training space, and fitness equipment. The space can host a range of activities, from sports programs to formal events and banquets. A mezzanine level offers additional seating for spectators, while an expansive east-facing glass façade provides views of the entire campus.

“From the outset, President Obama envisioned our Home Court as a space for fun, inspiration, and learning, reflecting the community spaces vital for an inclusive democracy,” said Obama Foundation CEO Valerie Jarrett. “We aim for it to be an extraordinary resource for families to improve health and wellness and participate in educational and career readiness programming.”

The facility will be heated and cooled primarily through geothermal energy, avoiding fossil fuel use. The Foundation works with local community organizations to gather input on programming and hosted focus groups to involve the voices of young people from the South and West Sides.

Find out more at Chicago Construction News

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