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Education museum opens doors in Flowery Branch
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Virginia Edmonds presents plaques Thursday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the Georgia Retired Educators Association’s new facility. GREA is moving from Gainesville to Flowery Branch and will open a statewide museum. - photo by Erin O. Smith

“I guess the main thing I need to say is, ‘Welcome home.’”

And with that, Bill Chandler welcomed the dozens of educators, current and former, gathered at the newly opened Georgia Education Museum in Flowery Branch.

Chandler, chairman of the Georgia Retired Educators Museum board, expressed relief and pride at Thursday’s ribbon cutting event that the project is complete.

“We’ve been on this about eight years now,” the former Hall County educator said. “It’s something that we really worked a long time doing.”

The building at 4311 Falcon Parkway next to South Hall Middle School is not only home to the new museum but will also house the Georgia Retired Educators Association offices as the organization moves from its previous Gainesville location.

Those behind the project hope people from across the state will come to see the museum, particularly as the collection of photos, yearbooks and other teaching memorabilia from over the years grows.

“It’s unbelievable what we have done,” said Rita Marable with the association. “I guess my favorite part is the museum, because this is where the legacy of the teachers stands. So many professions have their buildings; the teachers have nothing, and this will be a legacy for teachers.

“Where would any of us be without a teacher?”

The project was largely funded through donations and the purchasing of bricks in honor or memory of a loved one. The bricks line the front walkway of the building.

“We’re just proud to have something like this,” Chandler said.