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Museum to be first of its kind in Georgia

Educators group expects opening after first of year

POSTED: July 18, 2014 11:24 p.m.

A museum dedicated to education is one step closer to reality in Flowery Branch.

The Georgia Retired Educators Association is in the process of building its permanent home off Falcon Parkway, next to South Hall Middle School and across the street from the Atlanta Falcons training facility.

The building will house the association’s state office headquarters, along with a museum open to the public.

“Obviously it’s a work in progress,” said Executive Director Bill Sloan about the museum portion. “When we first open up, it won’t be anywhere like we want it to get to. It will just take some time to create a museum.”

The headquarters have been at 322 Oak St. in Gainesville for around four years; they’ve been in the city since 1989, when the offices moved from Athens.

It’s time to make the move, Sloan said.

“(For) our organization, we wanted our own office facility that we own rather than paying rent,” he said. “We wanted to own our own building, and we wanted to build a museum because there’s not a museum anywhere in the state that was dedicated to education. Everybody else has their museum, but education has never had one, so we wanted to start the first one.

“We were very fortunate. The Hall County Board of Education sold us that land next to South Hall Middle School, and so we thought it was pretty appropriate to build a retired educators museum right next to a school.”

According to information from the Hall school district, the sale price was $324,450. The parties closed on the land in September 2011.

Nearly three years later, the organization is itching to move to the property.

“We hope to be in it sometime after the first of the year,” Sloan said.

The museum will house “artifacts” from teaching over the years, such as old desks and “a lot of pictures,” he added.

The offices and museum are entirely funded by membership fees and donations, Sloan said. People can make tax-deductible donations to the nonprofit, or purchase a brick for $100 to be placed in a pavilion by the building. People have been purchasing bricks in honor or memory of their favorite educators.

“We’re building so we can add onto it if we need to, but I don’t see that happening in my life,” Sloan said, laughing. “That will be somebody else’s deal.”


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