DENVER-Denver Academy is paying slightly more than $6 million for the 21-acre campus of the former Bethesda Hospital at 4400 E. Iliff Ave. in southeast Denver.

Denver Academy is a private, nonprofit coed school for grades one through 12. It specializes in teaching students with learning differences. The site–145,000 sf in 17 buildings–will be used for classrooms, library, physical education and labs for language and science.

Some administrators will move immediately although the relocation won’t be completed until the 2001-2002 school year. The school currently is located in 60,000 sf on two acres at 1101 S. Race St.

Denver Academy has hired the Denver architectural C.W. Fentress/J.H. Bradburn & Associates PC to design the renovation. Jim Loan, headmaster for the 27-year-old academy, told that this is one of the few schools in the country being designed exclusively for students with learning problems. “Usually they just try to fit them into what they’ve got,” he says.

The seller is HealthOne, which was looking for a good user as well as a satisfying price, says Kevin Kucera, the company’s real estate director. “I think it was the overall combination. We were looking at what the neighbors wanted and we met with Denver city officials over the use. Overall, it was a win-win situation,” he says. The former psychiatric hospital closed in December 1997.

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