Plans for the Olympic Village to be located on a former hospital campus should Chicago host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games hit a snag because of soaring demolition and environmental cleanup costs, and a recalcitrant property owner, reports the Associated Press.
Chicago 2016 chairman Patrick Ryan told the Chicago Sun-Times that demolition and cleanup costs of the Michael Reese Hospital campus have soared beyond original estimates of $20 million to a projected $32 million. He said an attempt to renegotiate the purchase price with the property’s owner, Medline Industries, was unsuccessful.
Ryan reportedly said the city has until February 2, when the final 2016 Summer Games bid book must be in the hands of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to find an alternative village site.
City officials said alternative sites for the village include the air rights over a truck staging area for the McCormick Place convention centre.
Meanwhile, a Chicago 2016 delegation and representatives from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) are participating in the sixth annual World Forum on Sport, Education and Culture in Busan, South Korea September 25-27, organized by the IOC and the Metropolitan City of Busan where 800 members of the Olympic Family, as well as governmental and non-governmental institutions and universities and media groups will be represented.
The groups will discuss the IOC’s long-term plans for the Olympic Values Education Program (OVEP) and the progress that has been made since the commission was introduced five years ago.
Ryan said, “the values of the Olympic Movement extend well beyond the Games period and provide fundamental lessons for youth. This is why a focus of our bid plan is the legacy the Games would leave behind in Chicago – including programs for youth and communities”.