Study to determine Lanierland venue options underway

Findings of feasibility study to determine use of outdated facility

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A study to see whether Lanierland’s main venue can be revitalized and what would make sense for the county at that location is underway.

The county bought the former Lanierland site on Jot-Em-Down Road in northern Forsyth back in 2009 as part of the park and green space bond. Earlier this year, Forsyth County Commissioners approved a plan to make the property into an active park with ball fields, playgrounds, community center and walking trails.

In addition, an old concert venue at the 109 acre property is being looked at as a possible activity center.

Assistant Forsyth County Manager Tim Merritt said the feasibility study’s preliminary estimate puts the cost at about $21,000.

The county has also applied for a $15,000 grant to cover part of the study with the remainder cost being paid for by the county. It will be about a month before the county finds out if they were awarded the grant.

“The first step is to see if the structure is sound,” Merritt said. “That work is already going on and they will have that report back to us on Aug. 8.”

The next step would be getting proposals from vendors on how much it would cost to operate that site.

Merritt said if the structure is unsafe, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners can then decide if they would like to make the facility structurally sound or if they would like to tear the venue down and build something else.

Merritt said the feasibility study will cover the potential uses of the structure. It’s still unclear what the right use for the structure will be.

“Is it feasible to use it for country music venues, as it had been used for in the past, or is there just not a market for that?” Merritt said. “Is it something like a Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, is that the right market to go after? Or is it more for farmers’ markets or so.

“We want to try to target that use that is appropriate for that facility and not waste money on other things we can’t do and is not marketable.”