Plans to replace basketball court in Park Hill upset some neighbors

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DENVER -- The Holly Square basketball courts, which have played a huge role in revitalizing the area, are counting down to the final buzzer.

The Holly Square strip mall was burned down by gang members in 2008 and is an area with a pattern of crime and violence.

The neighborhood courts were installed to help rejuvenate the area. But they are moving to a new location, the McAuliffe International School, which is eight blocks south of the courts' current location.

Roots Elementary School opened in August and will break ground on a new building where the courts currently stand sometime in November.

For a lifelong resident of Park Hill who now watches his son play on the courts, the move is disappointing.

“Things are changing and I understand that, but they should have left the court here,” Wayne Lockman said.

Lockman also pointed out that basketball is a huge part of people’s lives in that area. Case in point: Former NBA champion and Park Hill’s own Chauncey Billups.

“It’s very important. Everybody knows Chauncey is from Park Hill, so we need to have some of this stuff still around,” Lockman said. “It’s not good that it’s leaving.”

The community will still have access to the courts when they are moved, but Lockman said it won’t be the same.