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Media Advisory

For immediate use 

March 15, 2006 -- No. 144

UNC to brief on concept plan for development
plan modification proposal going to town

Wednesday, March 15, 2006, 1 p.m.
Magnolia Conference Room, Giles Horney Building, 103 Airport Drive

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill officials will brief interested media representatives today (March 15) about the submission of a concept plan for the university's third proposed development plan modification application to the Town of Chapel Hill. The 1 p.m. session will be held in the Magnolia Conference Room in the Giles Horney Building off campus.

Bruce Runberg, associate vice chancellor for facilities planning and construction; and Anna Wu, director of facilities planning, will explain UNCís concept plan proposal and respond to reportersí questions.

UNCís 14 proposed projects include a new site for the School of Information and Library Science on south campus; a replacement of Davie Hall, which houses psychology, to provide updated classrooms, research and office space; a UNC Imaging Center to house high-tech medical research including cancer; a dental science building to increase enrollment in that School of Dentistry program by 50 percent; and a cancer-related office building for the UNC Health Care System.

Additional projects include improvements to athletic facilities (Kenan and Boshamer stadiums) and parking changes including adding a parking deck at the site of existing tennis courts off Bowles Drive and shifting spaces originally planned for a Bell Tower parking deck to an expanded Craige parking deck. Also at the Bell Tower, three research buildings and an academic building would be reconfigured under the concept plan.

Other projects include an addition to the George Watts Hill Alumni Center; joint plans with the Orange Water and Sewer Authority for a reclaimed water tank; and new support buildings to provide the grounds department with a permanent home in the form of administrative office and storage space.

The concept plan being submitted today follows work and discussions with town staff. The resulting development plan modification proposal would be the third modification to UNCís development plan since it was approved in 2001 by the Chapel Hill Town Council. UNCís development plan included details for an initial phase of new construction for the university and health-care system and specific strategies to mitigate community impacts in areas such as traffic, stormwater and noise. The first modification was approved in June and August 2003 following work by a joint town-gown panel. The second modification was approved in 2004.

The development plan is tied to UNCís campus master plan, the guide for building over the next several decades. UNC trustees approved the plan in 2001 after three years of work involving the university, consultants and town representatives. Later joint town-gown discussions helped create a new zoning ordinance and category as well as the rezoning of the main campus. The modification process was spelled out as part of the rezoning deliberations and is included in the townís land-use management ordinance. The university is scheduled to present the concept plan to the town council on April 19.

UNCís multi-year capital construction program is valued at more than $1.5 billion. The program represents an investment by North Carolinaís taxpayers through their approval of the Higher Education Bond Referendum of 2000. The referendum is providing $510 million for repairs, renovations, utilities and buildings. UNC is investing the rest of the funds from non-state sources, including private gifts and overhead receipts from faculty research grants, for buildings essential to continued excellence.

Directions and parking: Heading north on Martin Luther King Boulevard, turn left on Airport Drive. Giles Horney is the first building on the right, across from the Administrative Office Building. Media representatives may park in front of the building and north of the building in a gravel lot. The Magnolia Conference Room is on the left immediately after entering the buildingís front door.

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Contact: Mike McFarland (919) 962-8593, mike_mcfarland@unc.edu