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Former first lady Michelle Obama is kicking off Women’s History Month on a high note. It was recently announced that her alma mater, the Whitney Young Magnet High School, will be naming one of their facilities after her, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The school—which is based in the Near West Side neighborhood in Chicago—will name a new athletic center in her honor, the news outlet writes. The naming is historic as it marks the first time that a public facility in the city will be named after a former first lady. The $4.3 million center will feature a track and baseball and football fields. The complex will also have new artificial turf installed, seats, lighting, scoreboards, and a water fountain. The project is being funded by incremental tax financing.

Obama’s roots run deep in Chicago. She graduated from the Whitney Young Magnet High School 38 years ago and has supported the school throughout her journey. In November, she visited the school to share some inspirational words with students and gift them with advance copies of her best-selling book Becoming. School officials believed that it would be fitting to name an athletic center after Obama in honor of the work that she’s done surrounding the importance of exercise and healthy eating through her “Let’s Move!” initiative.

“She’s very concerned about physical fitness for everyone, not just your top athletes,” said the school’s principal Joyce Kenner. “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 athletic center is slated to be completed in May.

News about this honor comes after it was shared that the portraits of the Obamas at Washington, D.C.’s National Portrait Gallery helped the Smithsonian American Art Museum break a visitorship record.


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