LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– A fight is brewing over plans for a new school in Lakewood.
The Rocky Mountain Deaf School is currently operating in a strip mall in Golden. The school wants to build a new facility 10 miles away in Lakewood.
Administrators say the move is overdue. Not only because they are busting at the seams with lack of space but because time is running out to make a move.
“It’s been 14 years that we’ve been looking for a place to call home for Rocky Mountain Deaf School,” said Rocky Mountain Deaf School Director Nancy Bridenbaugh. “Our new school, we want it to be built.”
The school received a $13 million grant from the state to build their own school. They must find that land by November or risk losing the money.
“We just had the roof fall off and while they were trying to repair it, it rained,” said Bridenbaugh.
The classrooms are small and basketball games are played in a room with a carpeted floor.
The school wants to build on Lakewood’s Hutchinson Park area, nestled in a neighborhood. Some of the land is owned by Jefferson County with the intention of becoming a school.
Not everyone in the neighborhood agrees with the plan.
“We’re standing on the 10 acres being voted for rezoning by the planning commission tonight but the developer donated this as part of 40 acres which leads all the way to the houses there,” said neighbor Mike Davenport.
Davenport also said JeffCo Schools was given 10 acres of this land several decades ago, but he believes the land went back to the city if the school wasn’t built within eight years.
The neighborhood also worries about increased traffic from a school built on a dead end street.
The City of Lakewood will have to vote to rezone the land to a Pre-K to 12 grade school from what it is now.
“It is zoned for an elementary school and typically has 500-700 kids and we only have 100 students so it will have much less of an impact,” said Bridenbaugh.
Lakewood’s planning commission will host a public hearing and vote on their recommendation for the land at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Lakewood City Council Chambers, Civic Center South, 480 S. Allison Parkway.
Tonight’s recommendation then goes to the Lakewood City Council for a final vote.