Local News

July 5, 2014

Bandy Center could help downtown Dalton

One of Dalton’s great strengths is the way local agencies, schools and governments work together. Instead of trying to simply defend and grow their own little fiefdoms, educators, elected officials and agency heads can generally be counted on to come together and work for what’s best for the city and for the surrounding area.

Take, for example, an agreement recently hammered out between the city and Dalton State College’s Bandy Heritage Center.

The center has a large collection of materials relating to the history of northwest Georgia, but it didn’t have a place to house large exhibits.

The city has a historic freight depot in the downtown area that has a huge open floor space.

Starting later this summer, that portion of the freight depot will become home to Bandy Heritage Center exhibits.

“We are looking to move in in August,” said Brian Hilliard, project manager for the Bandy Heritage Center. “I can’t be more specific than that because we are waiting on some display cases.”

The first exhibition will probably be devoted to either the center’s Civil War collection or to a look at men from north Georgia who served in the United States Army Air Corps, the predecessor to the Air Force, during World War II.

The Bandy center plans to leave each exhibit up for three months, maybe longer, to give people time to see it. But it also plans to continue to move in new exhibits to best utilize its large collection.

The Dalton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) maintains a gift shop and visitors center in the freight depot, and CVB Executive Director Brett Huske said the CVB will throw its marketing power behind the Bandy exhibits.

That promises to bring more people downtown, not only local residents but also visitors and tourists with an interest in history.

In turn, those visitors could support local shops and restaurants.

When local governments and other groups work together this way, the community can only benefit.

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