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The Daily Tar Heel

School Board Leaders Meet to Discuss Horace Williams Tract

Director of the UNC Master Plan Jonathan Howes and other members of the Horace Williams Planning Advisory Committee will meet at the Lincoln Center Administration office with Superintendent Neil Pedersen and other school officials to discuss planning the development of the Horace Williams tract.

The tract is UNC-owned land located off Airport Road that the University would like to develop into a research facility as part of its Master Plan -- a blueprint for campus growth for the next 50 years.

Steve Scroggs, assistant superintendent for support services, said he thinks the group will discuss the building of a new school facility on the tract but potentially anything can be brought up.

"I think they will be using the land (on the tract) to build housing and classroom space, but I am really unsure until they let us know at the meeting," Scroggs said. "It will help to accommodate the growth by the school system."

He said that in order for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system to accommodate the projected student enrollment growth, another facility is needed.

"If we are to bring in more teachers to accommodate the growing enrollment of kids then we need more (school facilities)," Scroggs said.

Howes said the meeting will be similar to a forum held last Friday with the Chapel Hill Town Council and will raise some of the same issues about the possible construction of new housing and schools.

Susan Ehringhaus, senior legal counsel for the University, said the forums began Feb. 1. "Similar discussion concerning the development plan was presented before the Chapel Hill Town Council and at the Carrboro Town Hall," she said.

Howes said the numerous forums are meant to inform the community and to gain support for as well as input about the plan.

"We have held several meetings to inform the community," Howes said. "This is also an important project, and I think (the officials of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools) will be interested in knowing about it."

But Howes said nothing is definite as of yet for the development plan. "Planning is still a work in progress."

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