If there was any doubt that Holly Springs has moved up its status inWake County these last few years from being just a small town – and it definitely has – it was erased on Jan. 15, 2009. That was when Novartis Vaccines announced it had a $486 million, eight-year contract with theU.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support the design, construction, validation, and licensing of U.S. cell-based influenza vaccine manufacturing facilities in the town.
That’s the latest good news for Holly Springs, which has doubled in size since the 2000 Census to nearly 20,000 residents. Its growth is rather remarkable given that its one main access road is NC 55 between Apexand Fuquay-Varina in the southwest corner of the county. But despite the town’s being somewhat off the beaten path, many people have found it to be worth the effort to get to visit.
Its appeal is similar to that of its neighboring communities – small-town charm combined with big-city convenience and activity. Regarding the latter, the Holly Springs Cultural Center schedules indoor and outdoor art shows and performances regularly. It collaborates with other local art establishments to host the Art After Dark event downtown the second Friday of each month.
At the same time, its citizens are acutely aware of encouraging and managing their growing population. The Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce holds an occasional Government and Business Relations Breakfast for its members to meet community and county leaders to discuss economic issues.
Still, the biggest opportunity remains Novartis, which no doubt will create hundreds of jobs in the area. That can be a challenge for a community to handle, but Holly Springs has accommodated explosive growth with ease this last decade or so, and all indications are that the “fastest growing town in North Carolina,” as one publication called it, is ready for its bright future.