Group Pushes for Park on Dix Campus
(02/07/07 -- RALEIGH) (WTVD) -- Raleigh's Wade Avenue is wading deep in signs that say "Dix 306: Save Raleigh's Central Park"
The 306 refers to the number of acres on the prime piece of land outside downtown Raleigh. It's also the home of Dorothea Dix mental hospital which is slated to close next year.
So should it be turned into retail, residential, office space, open space or a combination? Some people downtown say it should be a little of everything from a park to mixed use.
Bissey Fleming and her friend Nancy Featherstone are part of a group encouraging the proposal to turn the area into a park.
That's why Dix 306 signs are up in their front yard. They're also students at NC State studying natural resources.
Featherstone explains, "It's this huge plot of land, that's why it's so important to keep it because everything else is being filled in and that's one place that we can save."
She adds, she's not only thinking about their future profession, but her future family. "One day I want to be able to have a place where my kids can go and when they're little, a place that's big enough where they can run, and I won't have to worry about them getting anywhere close to the street," Featherstone said.
Earlier this month a legislative panel looking at the future of the campus made recommendations that could allow for both recreational and other uses when the hospital closes.
The commission didn't come up with specific legislation, which the full General Assembly must approve for the changes to occur. Rather, the panel asked the leaders of the commission to work with their fellow lawmakers to develop a bill that fits the parameters laid out by the panel.
The hospital is slated to close in 2008.
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