Agriculture is one of Chatham County’s primary industries, and this project gives form to its importance within the community. At its Sept. 16, 2013 meeting, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners approved the schematic design of the facility, which is located west of Central Carolina Community College’s Pittsboro campus on US 64.The design for the 32,000-square-foot Agricultural Center includes 6,000 square feet of exhibit hall space that will seat approximately 400 at tables and 800 people theater-style. The exhibit hall is located in the heart of the facility, and this room can be further subdivided into three smaller spaces. Three additional break-out classrooms in the East wing can also be modified to create a larger meeting room. The large, open entry lobby will be utilized for registration and receptions, and a centralized catering kitchen will service both large and small groups.
The West wing of the building will serve as new office space for the Chatham County Agriculture Department, including the Cooperative Extension, Soil and Water Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation, Forestry Service, and the Farm Services Agency. These office areas also include a small conference space and kitchen classroom available for public use. To emphasize connection to the outdoors and provide a better working environment, clerestories and large expanses of glass will allow natural lighting in many areas. A high efficiency HVAC system will also be utilized for the long-term energy use of the facility.
The appearance and form of the center is grounded in the local farm-structure vernacular located throughout Chatham County and the Piedmont of North Carolina. A large and gentle sheltering metal roof will be employed to house the programmed spaces and provide protection from the harsh summer sun. Exposed steel structural elements will allow the industrial nature of the facility to be emphasized, and numerous outdoor covered areas will provide a ‘front porch’ to the newly acquired +/- 100 acres of land purchased by Chatham County. Construction is expected to begin the Spring of 2014.
Location: Pittsboro, NC
Estimated Completion: 2016