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Athens Lawmakers Consider Renaming 2 Recreational Sites


Athens-Clarke County lawmakers will take a look at renaming two area recreational sites. 

At an agenda-setting session today, ACC Commissioners will discuss whether to take a vote next month to rename the gymnasium at Thomas Lay Park to the Willie Hull Gymnasium. Hull served as director of the park from 1977 to 2010. Commissioners will also discuss renaming the East Athens Community Center in honor of Aaron Heard, who spent fifteen years as director of the community center.

Both Hull and Heard grew up in Athens, according to a letter sent by Rick Dunn, urging commissioners to move forward with the name changes. Dunn’s letter cites Hull’s work in bringing computer labs to Lay Park, and Heard’s role in calming tensions after ACC Police fatally shot Edward Wright in 1995. Dunn’s letter was co-signed by more than two dozen Athenians and community groups, including Mayor Kelly Girtz and Commissioner Ovita Thornton.

Link to the full agenda: https://www.accgov.com/DocumentCenter/View/76746/April-20-2021-Agenda-Setting-Session-agenda

For more information: Request to Name the Gymnasium at Lay Park and Rename the East Athens Community Center

Martin Matheny was promoted to Program Director and Content Strategist on July 1, 2022. He has served as the Executive Producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters', and he covers local government for WUGA News. He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on WUGA at 10pm. 'Night Music' can also be heard statewide on the GPB Classical stream Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm. As part of 'Athens News Matters' Martin works with student interns to help cultivate the next generation of Public Media rock stars! In his spare time Martin is an amateur book binder and freelance musician who frequently performs with Big Band Athens playing bass trombone. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.