After decades of hearing it can’t be done, the residents of the Bardwell neighborhood are watching a blight turn into a gem right before their eyes.

And few have a better view than Myra and Albert Fonseca, who bought their Aurora home 29 years ago mainly because it was next to Bardwell Elementary School and Copley Hospital, only to have the medical facility pack up and move a couple years later.

It was hard, Myra Fonseca said, watching the abandoned campus gradually deteriorate under the weight of lawsuits, basement water and the refuse left behind by trespassers that included rodents, drug addicts, ghost hunters and other thrill-seekers, as well as gang members who filled the walls with the kind of graffiti no mom wants her daughter to see.

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