However, the committee will have to wait to implement these plans.
“We’re looking at two to three years before we’re ready to go,” IFC Co-Director John Dorward said.
Dorward said that while it was established from the time IFC began operating out of the Historic Town Hall that it was a temporary arrangement, they still have much to do before they can move out.
The IFC currently has an office in Carrboro where they plan to move their Community Kitchen, but the Carrboro Board of Aldermen must first approve their rezoning application.
“The Board of Aldermen already decided last March that the use that we’re proposing for the site, the Community Kitchen, is something that is an acceptable use for the town, so the question is whether this is an acceptable use for the site,” Dorward said.
He said he hopes the board will consider the IFC’s application before their summer recess in June.
Both the Historic Town Hall and the IFC’s Carrboro office will require significant maintenance before either can be utilized.
“It’s not like IFC moves out, then two months later, something else is in their place,” Rich said.
Chapel Hill Town Manager Roger Stancil said the interior of the Historic Town Hall will have to undergo renovations if the plans for a combined visitor’s center and history center are adopted. While the outside of the building would remain largely untouched due to its historic value, the inside would require extensive repair.
“Because of its age, the design on the interior is broken up into little office spaces,” Stancil said.
Dorward said the IFC feels optimistic about the approval of its rezoning application and its move out of the Historic Town Hall.
“We have enjoyed being there, it’s a great location, and it’s been really good to us and our program, but moving away from downtown has also been a really good move for our homeless shelter,” Dorward said.
Rich said that once the committee decides on what they think is best for the building after IFC leaves, they will hold a public hearing to see how the town feels.
“I for one always want to hear from the public, especially when it is concerning a public space, because town-owned means we all own it,” Rich said.