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Arena Makes Final SPLOST List; BOE Extends Means’ Contract

Classic Center Executive Director Paul Cramer.

A controversial proposal for an arena at the Classic Center will be on the ballot this November after the Athens-Clarke County Commission included it on the final SPLOST list Thursday night.

Commissioner Tim Denson joined commissioners Mariah Parker and Melissa Link in seeking to set aside the $34 million earmarked for the arena into a more general downtown development pot. But the other seven commissioners voted against Parker and Link’s plan.

Supporters say the 5,500-seat arena, which will be partially funded by the Classic Center and the private sector, will create 600 jobs and generate millions of dollars in sales taxes. A senior living facility, office building and hotel are also included in the project.

At the same time last night, the Clarke County Board of Education voted to extend Superintendent Demond Means’ contract through the 2021-22 school year. The vote was 7–2, with board members Greg Davis and John Knox saying they didn’t have all the data they needed to evaluate Means and asking to delay the vote.

The board also voted 8–1 (with Linda Davis opposed) to ask the state Professional Standards Commission for clarification on how to proceed with an investigation into an ethics complaint filed against Means in May.

Pick up next week’s issue of Flagpole or check back to for more.