The ArtsCenter has been in the heart of Carrboro since its founding in 1974. It was housed in the same building as Armadillo Grill and then Carr Mill Mall before settling in the 300 building on East Main Street, where it’s been since the mid-1980s.
As the art education and entertainment non-profit prepares to move once again, it will make its biggest move while still staying close to the center of town.
The ArtsCenter will hold a community input meeting on Wednesday to discuss its plans to move into a site at 303 Jones Ferry Road, near the intersection with Barnes Street. A tour of the site will begin at 5:30 p.m. before the meeting begins across the street at the OWASA Community Room at 6 p.m.
Carrboro Board of Aldermen member Bethany Chaney spoke with WCHL’s Aaron Keck about The ArtsCenter’s looming move. She said while the town is disappointed its plans with the non-profit to relocate to the new library planned for South Greensboro Street fell through, it’s encouraging the potential new location will be close to downtown.
“We’re really glad they found another solution,” Chaney said, “and that [The ArtsCenter] will retain its presence here in Carrboro and still be able to provide opportunities for students in school and the adult population.”
The ArtsCenter originally planned to be part of Carrboro’s 203 Project, which will house the Orange County Southern Branch Library, town offices and other groups. But with construction on the $15 million project not slated to begin until the fall of 2020, executive director Daniel Mayer decided in February a quicker construction process at a different location would be better for the non-profit.
Mayor Lydia Lavelle said her interactions with leadership of The ArtsCenter indicated they wanted to stay close to the Carrboro community.
“I’m really happy they have landed on a piece of property that is one various groups have looked at over the years and seems to fit the bill [in that it’s] pretty close to downtown,” said Lavelle. “I look forward to them continuing to have their good work in Carrboro and keeping the opportunity for [the town] to partner with them, which we have in the past.”
As for the future of the building where The ArtsCenter currently sits, Chaney said it remains to be seen.
“We know there is a master plan and there’s been some economic and practical reasons why the full plan hasn’t been executed,” she said. “Perhaps, once The ArtsCenter is in their new space, the owners can fully develop their master plan.”
Wednesday’s meeting about the non-profit is the first of a series of community input sessions. The next will be held on January 8 at 6 p.m. at The ArtsCenter.