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After Protests, Francis Parker School Explains Plans To Buy Condo Building For Expansion

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Francis W. Parker School in the Lincoln Park neighborhood explained its plans Wednesday to buy a neighboring condo building.

Neighbors complained that Parker, 330 W. Webster Ave., was quietly buying up condos one by one in a building on Belden Avenue to the north of the school.

On Wednesday night in a statement, Parker said one nearby condo association had approached the school to sell a building. Contract negotiations for that sale are under way.

Parker said it has only spoken with condo owners who wanted to sell.

The school said it mostly wants to provide more learning space for current students.

RELATED: Protesters Confront Francis Parker School About Their Quiet Purchase Of Nearby Condos | Francis Parker School Has Been Flouting Rules By Renting Out Condo Units It's Bought Up, Neighbors Say | Francis Parker School Buys Out Neighboring Condos 'Under Cover Of Night' In Bid To Expand; 'A School Bully With A Big Check'

Past efforts by the school to buy nearby condo buildings were rejected by the condo boards. So neighbors complained going back to the summer that the school was slowly and quietly buying condos in a bid to control board seats.

In October, a school representative said "we bought those two units under cover of night."

Parker officials have apologized for using the phrase "under the cover of night." Neighbors said in December that with a looming school expansion, property values are suffering.

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