GGC Foundation eyes gym land

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation is considering the possibility of purchasing a gym and two acres of land located along Ga. Highway 316, Foundation President Gordon Harrison said this week.

Harrison said the foundation has not yet made a decision about the purchase of Fitness International, located between the exits for Walther and Collins Hill roads.

If the land is bought, it could be used for a recreation and exercise facility for the students, said Harrison, who is also the college's vice president for advancement. Officials have also considered creating such an area in the warehouse space of the new Student Services Building, he said.

Tim Mansour, the owner of Fitness International, said it's possible he will sell the land to the foundation, but no agreement has been made. The gym, which has been at the location for 14 years, is still open to the public, he said.

Mansour said his priority is taking care of the 3,500 to 4,000 members at the gym. If he sells the land, Mansour said he will "do it right."

Meanwhile, the decision of where the college's recreation facility will be created depends on what would be the best use of student fees, Harrison said.

About a year ago, the Foundation purchased a building on Collins Hill Road that formerly housed Plumbing Distributors Inc. The building was recently retrofitted to create offices for admissions, financial aid and student services, and a second phase of renovations is planned.

Discussions about the possible purchase of Fitness International began at least six months ago, Harrison and Mansour said.

The foundation was established to develop private funding for projects such as student centers, bookstores and athletic facilities.

College officials have had several meetings with land owners along the corridor to discuss the institution's future growth, Harrison said.

"We're trying to be good neighbors to everyone," he said.