We’re trying something new this week with a news roundup of interesting tidbits. And we start with a big one:
- We’ve confirmed through permitting documents that Cat’s Cradle is opening an expansion space at 107 Brewer Lane, just down the street from the Belltree Cocktail Club and The Cheese Shop, which plans to open at 100B Brewer Lane next summer. The new space – Cradle’s fourth – will allow for larger audiences. (The first Cradle was located in a basement on West Rosemary, followed by a move to 403 W. Rosemary, followed by a move in 1993 to its current location in Carrboro. For a good history, we recommend David Menconi’s deep dive.)
- Kudos to Chapel Hill resident Fiona O’Keeffe for winning the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. (She also set an Olympic trials record in the race, her debut.) O’Keeffe will be heading to Paris to compete in the Olympic Games. Her coach Amy Cragg also lives in Chapel Hill.
- The Orange County Board of Commissioners agreed to go forward with a plan (Plan C) that invests $400 million in our school facilities, along with $90.1 million in additional borrowing for county projects. This plan includes a $300 million bond that will be placed on the ballot this fall – the first education bond in the county since 2016, when voters approved a $120 million education bond 75-25.The money will be allocated proportionally between both school systems (CHCCS and OCS) and we, for one, hope that both school systems are willing to think creatively about how best to take full advantage of this investment.For example, we think it will be possible to build housing for teachers and other public employees and a new school on the 21-acre site of Carrboro Elementary, which was built in 1957 and is near the top of the priority list to be replaced. We would also love to see our school leaders think about how to make new schools safer to access for pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, we think it might be worth considering how best to budget for school construction. The NC Department of Construction data shows enormous discrepancy in construction costs across the state, and it might be possible for us to economize in other ways. We don’t want to see a repeat of 2017, when we were forced to choose between upgrading Chapel Hill High School and building a new preschool facility at Lincoln Center because CHCCS’s portion of the 2016 bond was insufficient to build both projects.
- NASA announced that UNC grad Zena Cardman will be aboard the SpaceX Crew-9 mission to the International Space Station.