From left: Gov. JB Pritzker, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Mayor Lori Lightfoot shovel a ceremonial scoop of dirt in September 2021, marking the groundbreaking of the Obama Presidential Center. Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago

WOODLAWN — Construction has resumed at the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park days after work was paused because a noose was found on the project site, officials said.

After the noose was found last week, Lakeside Alliance, the Black-led coalition of construction firms building the Obama Center, halted work to hold anti-bias training sessions and put additional security measures in place, a spokesperson said. Construction resumed Wednesday.

An investigation into who is responsible for the “horrific act” that halted work at the project is ongoing, the spokesperson said. Crews who found the noose reported the incident to police, and Lakeside Alliance offered a $100,000 reward for information to help find the person or people responsible.

“While Lakeside Alliance understands that no amount of training will lessen the impact of last week’s heinous act, we will continue to provide anti-bias, inclusion and belonging training on an ongoing basis to help foster an inclusive work environment, the statement read.

The coalition of builders said they remain committed to providing jobs for groups that are underrepresented.

“We will not let this one hateful act distract us from our mission to transform the paradigm of the construction industry in Chicago,” the spokesperson said.

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