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Wilmington University Plans New Campus

A north Delaware university plans to expand its campus onto untouched land this year, a move that is receiving mixed support from community members.

Wilmington University will add three buildings, expected to accommodate at least 1,000 students, to 41 acres along Route 202.

"We're departing from past procedure of being a modest institution. Now, we're becoming a real university," said Irenee du Pont Jr., a member of the university's board of trustees.

"We love the history as much as anybody else does and what we want to do is add to it, make sure our holdings there do nothing but reflect the beauty of the Brandywine area," added Laurie Bick, a school spokeswoman.

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But environmentalists have argued the land should remain as-is since it leads directly into a nearby reserve.

"Ya know as the gateway to our national park I think we should treat it with a little more respect," said Jason Hoover of Save the Valley organization, which is working aggressively to reverse the building plans.

"You can always keep building farther and farther back, [but] where do you draw the line?"

School officials said they hope to break ground in 2015.

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