WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A community is conflicted over whether or not to sell a nine-acre lot in the Happy Hill area to the Arts Based School.

“You never expect to have so much dissension over something that has the potential to do so much good in the neighborhood,” said Winston-Salem City Council member Annette Scippio at the city council meeting Monday night.

People in the Happy Hill community are worried about a new school near their homes.

“We are not against progress. We are not against revitalization. We’re not against a great school. What we’re saying is ‘we should not get crumbs here,'” said Miranda Jones, a community organizer and head of Hate Out of Winston-Salem.

City leaders planned to sell 8.91 acres of land to the Arts Based School.

The school needed help to reduce the student waitlist to enroll, which currently averages about 400 kids each year.

School leaders would also lease a wing of the old Diggs Elementary School next door.

“If the land was set aside to be affordable housing then that’s what we want it to be and go to people who truly need affordable housing,” Jones said.

Neighbors believe city leaders should take the time to speak with people in the community about how their needs could be met overall.

Scippio tells FOX 8 there are dozens of empty lots in the area, and they’ve been that way for years.

She believes the community can find a way to have both housing opportunities and education.

Scippio adds a quality school and a good education are the keys to lifting people out of poverty.

Neighborhood advocates tell FOX8 they want to hear from Arts Based School leaders about if and how kids in the area will be included.

“We feel like there needs to be space, particularly for some of the neighborhood children,” Jones said. “If it doesn’t reflect the community, contemporarily and historically, that is a problem.”

Scippio is planning to hold an input session on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m. for the community to voice their concerns.

The city council will discuss the agenda item at an October meeting.