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Land gift advances college
Lanier Tech planning more expansion projects
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More steps have been taken to finalize a pending land deal between Lanier Tech and the Dawson County Board of Education.



The board voted unanimously Aug. 11 to direct Superintendent Nicky Gilleland to start negotiations and conduct a land survey.



The site that Lanier Tech and the Learning Center currently occupy, as well as land occupied by Family Connection, would be given to Lanier Tech for the purpose of expanding the college.



Lanier Tech plans to build more classrooms and laboratories on the site.



“The school system, county commissioners and the county government purchased that land with the expressed purpose of setting it aside for when Lanier Tech could expand,” explained Gilleland.



The property set aside for Lanier Tech is about an acre.



In addition to that acre, the school system is considering donating another quarter acre to Lanier Tech, depending on how much budget allotments allow.



“We want to do everything we can to spur on Lanier Tech’s growth and development,” said Gilleland.



The local school system worked with Lanier Tech to conduct a survey of the proposed land donation and drew up a sample map of the tentative layout, which was finished last week.



But a few more steps must be completed before the board can officially transfer the land to Lanier Tech.



First, Lanier Tech facility-management needs to take the board’s resolution and the formal land survey and present it to the state board for approval.



Once the state board approves the resolution and land survey, then the land donation proposal must go before the State Property Commission, chaired by Gov. Sonny Perdue, to be reviewed and accepted.



After those proceedings are completed and all the legal requirements met, then the local board of education will hold another vote to officially approve the land donation.



The board of education and Lanier Tech anticipate the process to be completed within a few months.



Lanier Tech will then move forward on expansion plans.



“The General Assembly has already appropriated $5 million in the budget, which will be used for our expansion,” said Michael Moye, president of Lanier Technical College.



Once the land donation is finalized and Lanier Tech starts the expansion process, Family Connection, which currently resides on part of the land that is allotted for donation, will have to relocate to a different facility.



“The county and the school system will work together to ensure that Family Connection has a home here in Dawsonville. We already have a few location options available. Their work is just so valuable to this community,” said Gilleland.



For Gilleland, an expanded Lanier Tech will be a symbol of gratitude for all the time and effort the college has invested in Dawson County.



“The community has really worked together to see to it that Lanier Tech succeeds here in Dawsonville. We want to continue to show our support for such a fine institution,” said Gilleland.



Moye is equally thankful for the open-armed welcome and support from the community.



“Lanier Tech is very appreciative of the support that we’ve received from the Dawson County Board of Education. This expansion will greatly enhance our ability to provide a trained workforce for future developments in Dawson County,” said Moye.