Carrboro’s ‘203 Project’ is expected to bring a big change to the town. After having no buildings built downtown in over 100 years, the $15 million project is a break from tradition and why town officials want citizen feedback.
Carrboro will be holding an input session Wednesday for residents to hear more about the ‘203 Project’ and voice their visions for the new space.
The project’s name came from its address: 203 South Greensboro Street. The building will largely house the Orange County Southern Branch Library, although the 65,000 square-foot building will house other functions too.
In an interview with WCHL’s Aaron Keck last week, Carrboro mayor Lydia Lavelle listed the building’s uses, saying these public meetings should help citizens understand the scope and purpose of the project better.
“This building is going to hold the library; it’s going to hold some programming for The ArtsCenter; it’s going to have some of our recreation and park offices; it’s going to have WCOM and some other things,” said Lavelle. “We really want the public to come out and give their input on this project.”
The upcoming meeting will use activities and small group discussions to gain citizen feedback for the design team and town staff. After taking those ideas into account, Carrboro will host two more input sessions on July 23 and August 4 to show how the initial feedback will be incorporated into the building’s concept plans.
Parking may be one of the biggest topics of conversations at the public meetings. The proposed project will replace an 88-space parking lot owned by the town. Lavelle says the design team is looking into adding parking options into the project and will discuss plans at Wednesday’s meeting.
“They’re going to summarize the parking study we had completed the previous year or two,” she said, “and how they want to go about trying to address parking and transportation, [like] walking, biking, bus, but also how parking is going to be handled on the site.”
Lavelle won’t hesitate to admit the project is a big undertaking but said citizens should keep in mind the benefits a new building will bring.
“The site has challenges, but there’s also great opportunity with this,” she said. “And we’re really tremendously excited about it.”
All three of Carrboro’s input sessions will be held at Town Hall from 7 to 9 p.m. The ‘203 Project’ is expected to begin construction on South Greensboro Street next spring.