Back side of LLOP boathouse currently under construction.

The exterior of the new $17 million boathouse at Lake Lanier Olympic Park is nearing completion. In the foreground one of the original boats from the 1996 Olympics is shown.

Much of the drying-in work – from adding the roof to installing windows, stonework and siding – will be completed by the end of July as the build-out of the new Lake Lanier Olympic Park Boathouse moves inside.

“Although many people driving by may not see much going on outside for a while, it will be a beehive of activity under the roof and between the exterior walls in the coming months that will transform the new boathouse into a state-of-the-art facility,” said Robyn Lynch, director of tourism for the City of Gainesville. “We are right on schedule for completion later this year.”

In June, windows were installed, including the large bank of windows overlooking the lake from the ballroom.

Other interior spaces are taking shape as drywall and trim are put in over the next several months.

“The exterior of the boathouse will be a combination of stonework and gray-blue painted Hardy plank,” Lynch said. “Right now, people may think we’re going with yellow, but that’s just the color of the materials.”

Seeking memorabilia

The interior will be filled with Olympic memorabilia from the 1996 Summer Games, and organizers are actively seeking donations of Olympic commemorative pins, T-shirts and official Olympic apparel, flags and banners, plus other objects that help tell the Lake Lanier Olympic story.

“We want to display as much as we can throughout the building and this is where the community can really be a big help,” she said. “Olympic pins will be a good item and we’re trying to create a broad collection that will be displayed in custom-made shadow boxes.”

Brother Jack Woodworking (see separate article) is creating several objects that will be on display, including the shadowboxes. Owner Wes Price is also adapting several wooden rowing shells that will be displayed prominently.

A 40-foot shell that was used prior to the Olympics will be hung on the wall in the lobby. A 32-foot wooden shell that was used in the Summer Games is being converted to a cocktail table with a glass top for the gathering room.

“Everyone is getting so excited about the progress being made,” Lynch says. “The work and planning that has gone into this project will result in a showplace for Gainesville and Hall County, and we hope that it will help us attract many more sporting events and activities to Lake Lanier.”

To donate Olympic memorabilia and other items, contact Lynch at by September 1.

Upcoming events at LLOP

  • Beach Bash, July 14. Annual celebration features 1,000 tons of sand, games and contests, children’s activities, music, food trucks.
  • Georgia Peach Women’s Triathlon, July 23. Swim: 400 yard – a time trial start; Bike: Course is 15 miles; Run: Course is 5K.
  • Food Truck Fridays, August 18. Music, food trucks.

Photos: by Vicki Hope