Athens Lawmakers Consider Renaming 2 Recreational Sites

Apr 20, 2021

Lay Park Community Center
Credit ACC Gov

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:

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