We all know that forever first lady Michelle Obama is a huge advocate of health and fitness. It is fitting then that her high school alma mater, Whitney M. Young Magnet, will name their new athletic center after her.
And you can bet the first lady was pleased.
“She just had the biggest smile on her face, I think she was just shocked that we had even thought of her,” school principal Joyce Kenner told the Chicago Tribune of how Obama reacted to the news. “Honestly, getting an opportunity to be in her presence twice. … I didn’t realize how humble she really is.”
The outdoor complex will be full of features to cater to students’ needs including a running track and a field for sports like baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer and football. It will also have two scoreboards, a water fountain, artificial turf, and seating and lights.
The project, which Kenner said she has been working on for about 10 years, cost around $4.3 million, is funded through tax-increment financing assistance.
“Our kids have been running on the concrete for 44 years,” Kenner told the Tribune. “Now they will have a track in which they can practice their running, their hurdling, and have contests on the field.”
The complex will also be open to members of the community, to help everyone reach their health goals.
As mentioned, Obama is a huge promoter of healthy living, launching her “Let’s Move!” campaign to fight childhood obesity while in the White House.
“She’s very concerned about physical fitness for everyone, not just your top athletes,” Kenner said.
“When people drive by and see the sign on the field they will always remember her contribution and her husband’s contribution to our world,” the principal added.
The complex is expected to be ready for use by May.