The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday February 26th

UNC gives building update to Chapel Hill Town Council

The council moved unanimously to have the report presented regularly, with main campus reports in September and March. A traffic impact analysis, another main campus report and a Carolina North report will also be presented each March.

This way, the council will have time to hold a public information meeting each January and to meet with town staff each February.

Anna Wu, UNC assistant vice chancellor for facilities operations, planning and design, said it was important to meet with the council regularly to keep council members updated on projects.

“I think it’s a good idea for us to get back on a regular schedule,” she said, noting that the University’s construction process has been slow and had caused them to have trouble getting on the council’s calendar.

Town Development Manager Gene Poveromo agreed it would be a good idea to have reports more regularly scheduled.

“We’ve got four reports, and they’re kind of scheduled within the 12-month period,” Poveromo said of the current schedule.

Wu said with a new master plan in the design phase, there will be more to report on in the next year. The University has interviewed consultants for the plan. The process will begin in the summer, and UNC is looking at all major land parcels in Chapel Hill.

Council member Jim Ward expressed concern over the effects of a lack of collaboration between the town and University for a campus master plan that could include development of Carolina North.

“I would hate for us to build a field that is two feet shy of what a Quidditch field needs to be,” he said.

“If we understand your program needs and you ours, maybe there is some cross-fertilization there that could help us, I think there are some lost opportunities that would be pretty painless to have some success with.”

Wu said the consultants working on the new master plan have not decided on sites, but have surveyed lots of students about improvements to recreation facilities.

“We have a really active student body,” Wu said. “There are lots and lots of rec sports and club teams, and you know, we have really limited space on campus, so they have ideas about doing improvements to indoor rec facilities.”

The University has several projects in the design phase, Wu said.

These include renovations to Hill Hall’s auditorium to create another performance space on campus and a renovation to the Mary Ellen Jones Building on the medical campus.

There are also plans to improve Porthole Alley, the path between Franklin Street and Cameron Avenue, to provide a new entrance on South Columbia Street that will give access to Franklin Street businesses from the parking lot behind the Ackland Art Museum

.

The Hill Hall renovations will start this fall, and the Porthole Alley project is slated to begin in summer 2016.

city@dailytarheel.com



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