DENVER (CBS4)– Protect a pristine piece of land or build a new school– that’s the tough decision facing the Denver City Council right now.

Eleven acres of land at Hentzell Park, near Yale and Havana, are at the center of the debate. The land borders Cherry Creek.

The City of Denver is considering giving 11 acres and several hundred thousand dollars to Denver Public Schools in exchange for a 46,000 square foot building the district owns.

DPS would use the land to build a new elementary school to ease overcrowding.

Opponents respect the need for a new school but said the land is too valuable as open space.

“The city simply cannot give up rare, irreplaceable natural area. Once the pristine, natural area is surrendered it is gone forever,” said one opponent.

“And I support this because we need a school. We need a school for our kids. There are no grade schools in this area,” said a supporter of the deal.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The city plans to use the DPS building as a new domestic violence resource center.

The full city council is expected to make its final decision on April 1 after another public hearing.


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