With $17 million in funding to build a new boathouse, Lake Lanier Olympic Park will undergo a transformation in the next 18 to 24 months. An additional $600,000 donated by the Northeast Georgia Health System will fund covering the grandstands in the plaza on the course side of the venue.
The major construction involves razing the current boathouses and replacing them with a new building by the fall of 2023, funded by city hotel/motel tax. The design will address a number of concerns, including flooding issues; it will offer improved workout facilities, expand boat storage and add conference space.
“The new boathouse will be built on the same footprint as the original,” said Robyn Lynch, director of tourism for the city of Gainesville. “It will also complement the city’s conference space and, as the only lakeside venue in Gainesville, will provide excellent views of the lake, one of our biggest assets.”
In addition to raising the building four feet to eliminate flooding, the lower level will have a large workout area, boat storage for both the Lake Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club and the Lake Lanier Rowing Club, men’s and women’s locker rooms, separate club offices and a conference room with a small kitchenette.
The two-story ballroom, which can be divided into smaller function rooms, dominates the main floor. It can accommodate up to 400 people. With large windows and a balcony overlooking the lake, it offers access to a covered outdoor terrace with seating for more than 130. The main floor’s catering kitchen can support special events.
The third floor is open to the ballroom and lobby area below. Space upstairs includes a board room, offices for the LLOP Foundation, a board room and several offices.
Demolition of the current building begins in early April, with temporary equipment and boat storage on-site to accommodate paddling, kayak and rowing events taking place during construction.
Mobile offices for each of the two clubs using the facility are being set up as well to manage team activities and various boating events slated there.
A number of events are scheduled at the park in 2022.
Food Truck Fridays beginning March 11
As the weather warms and spring approaches, the Lake Lanier Olympic Park will begin hosting Food Truck Fridays on March 11 from 5 to 9 p.m. Taking place on the second Friday of each month through August except for July, the events include music, food and beverages. July’s event on July 15, combines the monthly activity with the park’s annual Beach Bash.
For more information, visit exploregainesville.org.
Renderings: Courtesy of City of Gainesville, GA