BERKELEY, Calif. - UC Berkeley is expected to approve a new housing project in People's Park that critics say would destroy an important piece of local history.
A regents' committee voted to recommend approval of the $300 million project which would house both students and the homeless community currently living at the park, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The plan is to build two buildings: one for students and another for individuals residing at the park who are homeless.
Years in the making, the decision doesn't come without controversy.
Those in favor argue the critical need of housing is more important than keeping the historical significance of the park. Thousands of students have struggled to find housing over the years.
But advocates for the park say that it's not the place to build housing. They say the park should remain an open space for community use.
People's Park has remained intact through the years, even through "Bloody Thursday." In 1969, protests against UC Berkeley's plans to turn the park into an athletic field became violent.
"People have died for People's Park. People have been hurt. National guards have come here," said Austine Peng.
With final approval of the project, construction will begin late 2021 and an opening date in 2024.