The Carrboro Town Council received a proposal for a structural plan for the ongoing 203 Project, a development project on South Greensboro Street, during a Sept. 15 council meeting.
The 203 Project emerged in 2016, when Orange County requested to relocate the new Orange County Southern Branch Library to the existing parking lot at 203 S. Greensboro St., adjacent to Open Eye Cafe.
In addition to the library, the project intends to house the Town’s Recreation and Parks Department, WCOM Radio, the Orange County Skills Development Center, the Virtual Justice Center and the Teen Center.
The ArtsCenter was originally included in the 203 Project, but Trish McGuire, planning director for the Town of Carrboro, said the center left the development to pursue independent plans.
Derek Jones, principal at Perkins and Will architecture firm, presented three structural options at the meeting, but said the firm chose the option "Float." It has a parking deck with 175 spaces and a rooftop terrace.
According to his presentation, this option was most cost-effective while also exceeding in every category of evaluation. The categories included metrics such as “Active Gathering Space,” “Quiet Reflective Space” and “Covered Bicycle Parking.”
Randee Haven-O’Donnell, a Carrboro Town Council member, said she likes the building’s plan and flexible spaces.
“Some of the things that Mr. Derek Jones answered was just reimagining the entire picture of how a library can be serving purposes other than what we traditionally think of as a library,” Haven-O'Donnell said.
She mentioned possibilities for the space such as food and PPE distribution, makerspaces and multipurpose rooms. She also said the exposed roof makes solar power possible.