Unfortunately, in this case it is a research lab:
For more than a century, federal scientists have worked on Pivers Island near the historic town of Beaufort and the beaches of Emerald Isle studying the ocean and the fish, turtles and dolphins of its seagrass estuaries and rocky reefs.
Surrounded by three university labs, it’s one of a handful of oceanography hubs in the nation and the only government research center between New Jersey and Miami studying Atlantic fish populations.
So it came as a surprise when the federal government proposed doing away with the ocean science laboratory, which opened in 1899.
Tucked in President Barack Obama’s 218-page proposed budget for 2015 was a one-sentence mention of a plan to close an unnamed lab to save money. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration subsequently identified it as North Carolina’s historic research station. ...
The coastal and ocean agency plans to shift instead to grants to non-agency scientists. Closing the lab would mean the loss of 108 jobs locally. NOAA intends to relocate the federal scientists. What will happen to the lab’s 31 government contractors is less clear. ...
The lab sits just inside Beaufort Inlet, one of a handful of safe deepwater passages through the state’s barrier islands to the open sea. Duke University has a research station next door. NCSU and UNC-Chapel Hill labs are a short drive away.
Most people in the state think of coastal Carteret County, with its beaches, rental cottages and Beaufort’s historic district, as being all about tourism. But marine science has grown into a major local employer. NOAA and the three universities have a combined 163,000 square feet of research buildings and 40 labs. All told, marine science directly employs more than 500 people locally and injects $58 million into the economy, according to the county economic development council.
In addition, the state Division of Marine Resources is located in the area giving the place an awesome research atmosphere. My sources (yes, I have "sources"!) tell me it is just too expensive to keep the aging Beaufort Lab open. And I'll believe it (additional grants substituting for the federal research) when I see it.