Former President Barack Obama’s presidential library could require a $1.5 billion endowment, according to architects in charge of designing the library.
The amount is three times more than the money raised to build the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas that opened in 2013, the New York Post’s Page Six reported.
Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien noted that Obama declined to do a lot of fundraising for the center while in office, and said the reason the center would be so expensive was because of the high cost of building both a library and a museum.
The architects say the originally estimated cost of the buildings at $200 million is more likely to be closer to $300 million.
Another reason for the higher price tag is because recent federal regulations require that former presidents have larger endowments to pay for annual operating costs at the libraries.
“It won’t be easy,” Williams said. “It’s not just about preserving the past. It’s about the future.”
NBC Chicago reports that Obama is about to begin a major fundraising effort for the project as the former president met with community leaders and others to discuss the Obama Foundation.