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The Team Behind The Obama Presidential Center Development



This month, the South Side Builder’s Association (SSBA) invited Powers & Sons, a local construction firm, to provide information about the mega development of the Obama Presidential Center. The seminar was led by keynote speaker and Vice president of Lakeside Alliance, Kelly Powers Baria. Supporting speakers included Junisa Brima with Lakeside Alliance and Ashley Munson, Manager of Community Engagement & Government Affairs for the Obama Foundation.


Kelly represents Powers & Sons in a joint venture with the Lakeside Alliance, a group of firms managing construction of Chicago’s Obama Presidential Center. Leading the alliance’s Project Leadership and Community & Citizenship work groups, she is building diversity into the project’s field force including subcontractors, tradespeople, and suppliers. Powers & Sons is a construction and general contracting company specializing in providing construction services for a variety of projects, including commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential buildings. This family-owned business has been involved in the construction industry for several decades.


Lakeside Alliance is a joint venture entity formed between Powers & Sons Construction Company, UJAMAA Construction Inc., Brown & Momen, Inc., Safeway Construction Company, and Turner Construction Company responsible for constructing the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago’s Historic Jackson Park. These five firms provide a team of experienced specialists who bring the most innovative solutions to the construction Industry.


"With a focus on safety, quality, cost, and schedule, we will deliver the Obama Presidential Center vision by transforming the construction paradigm in Chicago through intentional engagement with our team, the Obama Foundation, business enterprises, and our community." - Junisa Brima, Lakeside Alliance




"Our promise is to augment the Obama Foundation team to ensure that the Obama Presidential Center fulfills the vision to INSPIRE and EMPOWER people to CHANGE the world." -Ashley Munson, Obama Foundation



The Obama Presidential Center will serve as a center for the legacy and work of former U.S. President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. It is intended to be both a museum and a community center, designed to promote civic engagement, education, and public discourse. The center is in the historic Jackson Park on the city's South Side, near the University of Chicago.

Key components of the Obama Presidential Center are expected to include:

  1. Museum: The center will house a museum dedicated to the life and presidency of Barack Obama. It will likely feature exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays highlighting important moments and policies of his presidency.

  2. Library: A presidential library is an integral part of the center, which will store and make available the official records, documents, and archives from Barack Obama's time in office.

  3. Community Center: The center is designed to be an active and engaged part of the local community. It will host programs, events, and activities to promote civic engagement, youth leadership, and social justice.

  4. Public Spaces: The complex will include outdoor spaces and parkland for the community to use and enjoy, enhancing the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood.

The development of the Obama Presidential Center has been a subject of public interest and discussion, with some community members and activists raising concerns about potential effects on the neighborhood, such as gentrification and displacement. The center aims to address these concerns by working with the community to provide benefits and opportunities for local residents.


Are you looking to get involved? Contact The Resource Center

Located just minutes from the OPC campus, the Lakeside Alliance Resource Center has space to host training sessions, interviews, and deliver support services for those who want to work on the project and/or pursue construction careers.

Lakeside Alliance Resource Center

1514 East 63rd Street | Chicago, IL 60637

Phone: 312.277.2177

Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m





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