Carolina North -- a research, commercial and residential community just two miles down the road from campus -- is still in the early planning stages. The campus, which will be completed within the next 20 to 50 years, will be situated on 892 acres off Airport Road and Estes Drive, which bridges Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
The executive committee that will make all of the decisions concerning Carolina North includes Chancellor James Moeser; Provost Robert Shelton; Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor for research; Susan Ehringhaus, senior University counsel; and Nancy Suttenfield, vice chancellor for finance and administration.
The executive committee will oversee several working committees that will be carefully crafted to include a mix of students, residents of Chapel Hill and Carrboro and local government.
The tentative list of officials and citizens on the committee includes Orange County Commissioners Barry Jacobs and Margaret Brown, Carrboro Mayor Mike Nelson, Carrboro Alderman Diana McDuffee, Chapel Hill Town Council members Jim Ward and Flicka Bateman and Chapel Hill residents Cam Hill and Ruby Sinreich.
After the committees are finalized, the project will have to pass various approvals in accordance with the two towns' laws, including zoning of the property for both residential and commercial use.
Waldrop said the facility is an extension of the University and its mission to become a leading school in the nation.
"We look at it as a place that enhances the mission of the University," Waldrop said. "It will involve graduate and undergraduate studies, partnerships with state agencies and involvement with public service."
Waldrop said the next step is to finalize the names on the list -- Carrboro must still pick two citizens to serve -- and have a meeting to discuss key issues surrounding the project.
Nelson said there is potential for the development of Carolina North to have a tremendous impact on Carrboro.