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Durham charter school applies for permits to demolish homes

Posted November 25, 2009

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— A Durham charter school has completed the application process for permits to knock down two homes in the city's Morehead Hills neighborhood. City leaders said demolition of the properties, at 804 and 806 Jackson St., could begin when the permits are issued – as soon as next week.

Healthy Start Academy, at 807 West Chapel Hill St., has been at odds with Preservation Durham over the plan.

Liz Morey, executive director of Healthy Start Academy, said the academy’s 330 students need more space to play outside and that the homes, which are in an historic neighborhood, are not themselves historic properties.

Preservation Durham wants the homes saved.

"To demolish and destroy those two houses would be like knocking out your front two teeth, on that very block,” Durham Councilman Eugene Brown said.

Brown said the city is working to revitalize Morehead Hills.

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  • Kelondris Nov 25, 2009

    If the houses were upkept and good condition, I would totally understand preserving them. But right now the only thing they are good for is termites, roaches and rats and of course drug dealers. Tear them down and put them to good use.

  • lb27608 Nov 25, 2009

    Enough of Durham's older homes have been destroyed already, so there are no longer "plenty of old houses around". And as far as "improving our education standards in this state", I'm not sure how building a playground is going to do that, especially for a charter school that's apparently doing a marginal job educating its students, based on its EOG results.

    As ncwebguy said, they should have considered the space issue when they located the school there in the first place.

  • dragonslayer Nov 25, 2009

    The hysterical society is responsible for quite a few dilapidated run down houses not being torn down.Their historic seems to be the neighborhoods run down drug dealer and hooker infested shacks.

  • NCTrue Nov 25, 2009

    Knock em down! How many derelict properties does Durham have to harbor drugs and criminal activity? MANY! A school using the property is better than these houses that no one is going to buy and renovate.. (we are in a recession remember, it ain't going to be over anytime soon folks!) This is Durham for ya.. Dirty "D" if ya didn't know and lives up to its name.. I grew up in Durham.... This is the very reason I do not live there any longer...

  • christinebbd Nov 25, 2009

    You go Liz!

  • christinebbd Nov 25, 2009

    What? Old neighborhoods don't have playgrounds in them?

  • Viewer Nov 25, 2009

    It's time to look forward. The school will make better use of the land. There are plenty of old houses in town if people want to look at them and ooh and ahh.

  • sparfitt Nov 25, 2009

    And how long have those houses looked like that, with boarded up windows and doors. What an eye sore, know one is doing anything to revitalize or refinish those homes from what I can see. Knock them the heck down.

  • ncwebguy Nov 25, 2009

    Why didn't they think about how much space they needed before locating a school in an established residential neighborhood? Let alone a block from Durham Freeway?

    What is wrong with the land between the buildings and the Freeway?

  • erocstangs Nov 25, 2009

    An old house or something better for our children? Not everything old is worth saving! Find a better cause to fight for then saving some old brick and wood, like fighting to improve our education standards in this state.