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Board to seek manager for Lanier venue

Gainesville/Hall ‘96 Foundation sets plans to restore Olympic site

POSTED: September 21, 2013 12:11 a.m.

The Gainesville/Hall ’96 Foundation has made considerable strides since its last meeting in August.

The new board met Friday at the Lake Lanier Olympic Center at Clarks Bridge Park to discuss a draft agreement with Gainesville and Hall County, creation of a website and define the hiring process for a venue manager.

The nonprofit, also known as Gainesville/Hall County ’96 Roundtable, worked to bring Olympic rowing and paddling events to the area in the 1996 Summer Games and then maintained the site’s legacy. After years of neglect, the site is on track to get a much needed upgrade, a full-time facilities manager and some capital improvements.

The board addressed the job description and hiring process of the Lake Lanier Olympic venue manager, debating whether the position should be salaried or by contract.

“It’s great that we have a lot of interest,” Chairwoman Mimi Collins said.

The job description still is under discussion and is based on a draft description Gainesville worked up a few years ago. The salary has been tentatively set as $70,000 a year. However, the board plans to contact other facilities around the country to compare salaries at those locations.

Stacey Dickson, board secretary, described the temporary website she developed. It has a home page with rotating pictures and a board of directors page and a page that has the mission statement and a message from Collins.

The board voted to pay $99 for the site and to buy up the website domain names that could relate to the site, such as GainesvilleHall96.org and PaddleLakeLanier.org.

“I would suggest at these prices, we should go ahead and get all of them,” said Mike Banks, an at-large board member. “Because the last thing you want is whitehouse.com taking you to a porn site.”

The board voted to purchase all the related domain names. Most cost $12.99.

Board members also considered a draft lease agreement with Gainesville, Hall County and the board.

The venue was leased to Gainesville and Hall County by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The two governments currently sublease it to the foundation, which subleases it to the Lake Lanier Rowing Club and the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club.

Gainesville and Hall County recently agreed to make more of an investment in the venue, giving $150,000 each to the board to manage the facility.

The draft agreement states that the two governments shall remain owners of the property. The agreement allows the board to provide a place for rowing, canoeing and kayaking programs. The agreement runs for a year, expiring on Oct. 14, 2014.

The board of directors also agreed to consider a state art grant that would include a mural on one of the buildings at the venue and a dance recital related to the traveling state art exhibit that will be temporary on loan to the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in October.

Gov. Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal recently announced that nine Georgia communities have been selected to host the state’s first traveling art exhibition. The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division and the Georgia Humanities Council will debut the exhibition in Gainesville at Quinlan Oct. 17 through Dec. 8.


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