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City panel rejects appeal to block annex at Lincoln Park school

Updated: August 17, 2014 11:00AM

The Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals has denied a move to block a permit to build an annex to Lincoln Park Elementary to ease crowding there.

The action came after backers and opponents presented more than three hours of testimony Friday on the plan for the annext to the school in the 600 block of West Kemper Place, which is estimated will cost as much as $20 million.

Attorney John Pikarski argued the annex would not fit with the rest of the city’s historic Mid-North District. He said there’s too little room from the street to the building.

Ald. Michele Smith (43rd), who supports plans for the annex, said after the ruling, “I hope this means that we can go forward.”

Michelle Villegas, a former Local School Council member at Lincoln who has been fighting plans for the annex, said the decision wasn’t a surprise and that the next step for opponents might be a lawsuit seeking to block construction.

Plans for the three-story annex call for it to include 19 classrooms, a dining center with a kitchen, a rooftop area for students and upgrades mandated under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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