Francis Parker School

Chicago school's acquisition plans rile neighbors

Jan. 28, 2020
Francis W. Parker School wants to buy 2 condo buildings near its North Side campus for an eventual school expansion.

Despite objections from its neighbors, an exclusive private school in Chicago is seeking to acquire and eventually demolish two century-old condominium buildings to make way for a campus expansion.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Francis W. Parker School has a letter of intent to buy a 19-unit building adjacent to its campus in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

The preliminary offer for the building is $13.5 million, say sources familiar with the negotiations. That is significantly higher than a $9 million offer that was rejected last year.

Meanwhile, the school has increased its ownership stake to six of the 15 units in another nearby condo building.

“As many educational institutions do, we are considering and responding to real estate opportunities that are being presented to us,” the school said in a statement. “Beyond securing space options for the school’s future, we do not have specific expansion plans at this time.”

School officials have said they had no immediate expansion plans and want to acquire the properties so the school eventually can expand the 6-acre campus.

Nevertheless, some neighbors have renewed their opposition to any school expansion.

An informal group called the East Lincoln Park Neighbors has distributed thousands of flyers. Titled “Stop Francis Parker From Demolishing Our Homes And Wrecking Our Neighborhood,” the flyers describe the school’s property purchases as predatory, and allege the moves are causing residents of the condo buildings to turn against each other.

Because Parker is bordered by the Lincoln Park Zoo, parkland and heavily traveled Clark Street, it is focused on a northern expansion that would require gaining full control of the two condo buildings.

Parker has 940 students in junior kindergarten through high school, with tuition topping out around $40,000, depending on the year in school.

Sponsored Recommendations

How to design flexible learning spaces that teachers love and use

Unlock the potential of flexible learning spaces with expert guidance from school districts and educational furniture providers. Discover how to seamlessly integrate adaptive ...

Blurring the Lines in Education Design: K–12 to Higher Ed to Corporate America

Discover the seamless integration of educational and corporate design principles, shaping tomorrow's leaders from kindergarten to boardroom. Explore innovative classroom layouts...

Room to Learn: Furniture Solutions for Education

Preparing students for the future. Utilizing our experience in the education market, we offer a dynamic selection of products that pair technology with furniture to help stimulate...

Transforming Education: A Case Study in Progressive Classroom Design

Discover how Workspace Interiors and the Baldwin School District reshaped learning environments in Long Island, New York, creating pedagogically responsive spaces that foster ...