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Aurora mayor calls for the Colorado Community College System's Lowry Campus to be sold

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Posted at 12:59 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 14:59:47-04

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman is calling for the Colorado Community College System's Lowry Campus to be sold, according to a post he made on Facebook.

"Under no circumstances should CCCS, given their 30-year track record of neglect with the property, continue as the owner and the sale of the property could benefit our state financially. I have discussed this matter with Governor Polis, and I will continue to press him on it as well as our state legislators," Coffman said in his post.

When Lowry Air Force Base closed in 1994, part of the land was given to CCCS as part of a 30-year deal that limited its use to higher education purposes only, Coffman said.

The Community College of Aurora has only repurposed a few of the base's old buildings for its use over the last three decades, according to the mayor.

"All of the other buildings have been left to deteriorate to the point that they have created a large, blighted area in our city," Coffman said.

The school already has plans to move most operations to a new facility that's under construction in Aurora, according to Coffman, as the 30-year deal for Lowry Air Force Base land ends in August.

Coffman said his push to sell the land stems from CCCS Chancellor Joe Garcia's lack of communication over the last several years with about plans for the land.

Chancellor Garcia sent Denver7 the following statement in response to Coffman:

"The site is located partly within Aurora and partly within the City and County of Denver and, pursuant to a deed restriction, can only be used for higher education purposes. For the past 25 years, CCCS has diligently utilized, repurposed, and maintained several buildings to serve the needs of our students and the community. We take immense pride in our stewardship of the facilities and grounds and strive to be good neighbors to the surrounding residential and commercial users in both Denver and Aurora. The campus is well-kept and provides a conducive environment for learning and development. While CCCS cannot now use the property for any other purposes, we understand that there is a great deal of interest due to the upcoming expiration of the deed restriction. CCCS has been actively reviewing its options for the property and remains committed to considering all viable options, including potential redevelopment opportunities, in collaboration with stakeholders and upon completion of a deliberative process."

Coffman said the City of Aurora wants to work on rezoning the more than 600 acres of land.

Denver 7+ Colorado News Latest Headlines | May 14, 11am

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