The Urban Land Conservancy on Wednesday announced its acquisition of a former school building in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood that will soon house a nonprofit serving the health and wellness needs of the black community.
The Center for African American Health was selected through a community process to relocate to the former Roots Elementary School building on Holly Street. ULC owns the land under the building through its community land trust, which is intended to preserve the property for uses benefiting the community.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Center for African American Health and know they will provide invaluable services to Northeast Park Hill and other north Denver neighborhoods,” ULC spokesman Erin Clark said in a Wednesday press release.
The Center for African American Health was chosen, according to the release, because of its “consistent track record, longstanding commitment to Northeast Denver, and focus on the African American community in the heart of one of Denver’s few historically black neighborhoods.”
The nonprofit will serve as a central meeting point and organizing entity for other service providers in the area.
As part of the new lease, the Center for African American Health has the option to buy the building from ULC and is actively seeking more funding to support the permanent acquisition within the next three years.
The group’s executive director, Deirdre Johnson, said in a statement that she is “honored to have been chosen” and “grateful for the philanthropic support that created this path to ownership” for her organization.
The Center for African American Health works to improve the health of members of the black community who have higher rates of diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The group moved into its new space on Jan. 30 and plans to sublease to other community-serving groups.
“We are thrilled to expand our services in this community,” Johnson said.