Fayette BOE asked to donate 100 acres for equine facility

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It was a different kind of proposal that came before the Fayette County Board of Education last week. Representing the planned organization Horse Owners of Fayette, resident Scott Gilbert asked the school board to consider donating 100 acres adjacent to Inman Elementary in the southeast part of the county for an enclosed equine arena

that could be constructed and operated by the county. The facility could host regional revenue-generating equine events and local events such as graduations and the county fair, Gilbert said.

Gilbert said the new organization has yet to meet with county commissioners officially.

“I think it would be a positive impact,” Gilbert told the board, referencing the large number of horse owners both in Fayette County and around the metro Atlanta region that would be expected to take advantage of the facility. “I don’t think the real estate situation is going to change anytime soon. This will benefit taxpayers and provide tax revenue for the county if the county operates it.”

The facility would easily facilitate large events such as graduation ceremonies and the 100-acre property could provide a venue for the county fair, Gilbert added.
Board members made no specific observations at the conclusion of Gilbert’s presentation.

Gilbert added that if the idea is well-received and if Horse Owners of Fayette incorporates, it will do so as a non-profit.

Gilbert after the meeting said preliminary plans call for the construction of an enclosed 420-foot-by-280-foot arena building that would likely seat approximately 2,000 people and could have adjacent meeting rooms. Also tentatively planned are a horse stall building and three small outside arenas. The total estimated cost is $2 million, he said.