Brenau University hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Renaissance Park on September 17.
Representatives from Brenau, the City of Gainesville, and the Melvin Douglas and Victoria Kay Ivester Foundation came together in celebration of the park and the recent downtown development.
“Renaissance Park is the icing on the cake, providing a welcoming green space to the square and also adding to the public artwork and the downtown area,” Dr. Anne Skelder, President of Brenau University said.
The new park sits at the entrance of Brenau University’s Lynn J. Darby School of Psychology and Adolescent Counseling. The school takes up the second floor of the Gainesville Renaissance, one of Downtown Gainesville’s newest buildings.
The Gainesville Renaissance building was developed by Brenau Trustee Doug Ivester and completes the fourth side of the square. When finished, it will contain spaces dedicated to education, dining, retail and the arts in addition to living space on the third floor.
“It's a wonderful feeling. I'm thrilled with how the building turned out. And I'm thrilled with the level of cooperation that you saw here today between Brenau the city, us as developers, I think it just couldn't have come better,” Doug Ivester said.
Sarah Price, a physician assistant at Brenau University, is set to finish her clinical rotation in May 2023. She said the park is beneficial for the mental health of the students.
“I think it's great that we're adding more of those spaces around campus to allow students to kind of get that chance to relax and help their mental health,” she said.
Sydney Jones, a sophomore at Brenau says that it feels like the school and community cares about the students. The new space breeds creativity.
The ribbon cutting ended with a tour of the Lynn J Darby School of Psychology and Adolescent Counseling. Over 200 guests were invited to a celebratory dinner to commemorate the expanded campus and park and to thank Doug Ivester for his continued support of Brenau University and the Gainesville community.