Barack Obama, Michelle Obama attend Chicago Obama Presidential Center groundbreaking

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The center, which is planned to include a Chicago Public Library branch, museum, and program and recreation areas, should be finished by 2025.

“This day has been a long time coming,” Obama said at the event. “We are about to break ground on what will be the world premier institution for developing civic leaders across fields, disciplines and, yes, across the political spectrum.”

Though some community organizers have voiced opposition to the project, and there have been a number of lawsuits, over environmental and gentrification concerns, Obama defended the center in an interview with ABC News.

“Anytime you do a big project, there’s always going to be some people who say: ‘Well, look, we don’t want change. We’re worried about it. We don’t know how it’s going to turn out,’ ” Obama said in an interview with ABC-TV’s Robin Roberts. “I am absolutely…

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