The University of Illinois at Chicago continues to work on its own bid for an Obama presidential library, despite Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s efforts to craft a unified bid to bring a presidential library and museum to Chicago.

“We are laying the groundwork for developing a proposal, which we intend to submit, that will leverage all of the strengths of the university, the city and the state, to be the site of the Obama presidential library,” said UIC spokesman Bill Burton following what he described as an organizational meeting of a “proposal” subcommittee Tuesday afternoon.

“We are very much in the running,” Burton said. “We are preparing to receive further instructions from the library foundation on when and how to submit our proposal.”

Asked whether UIC would consider folding its efforts into the mayor’s plan for a single proposal, Burton said he could not address that topic.

Last week, Emanuel told Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet that he was aiming for a unified Chicago bid, rather than have the University of Chicago and other city schools make solo pitches.

“We are going to run a process. But my goal is to have the City of Chicago, with its major educational institutions, have a single proposal,” Emanuel said at the time.

Competition is intense among would-be library sites, with rivals such as Chicago State University, the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood, the state of Hawaii and Columbia University in New York vying to pursue the library.

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