Extreme Makeover

Old Indian Creek Lodge razed for new, improved facility

For more than 70 years, Georgia State has preserved a rustic lodge on 16 acres of woods smack dab in the heart of DeKalb County as a location for off-campus events and retreats.

In August, the old lodge at the Indian Creek Recreation Area was knocked down, and work has begun on a new, state-of-the-art facility to take its place.

The university purchased the property — about 10 miles from campus — back in 1938, and it has served as an oasis for retreat and recreation for the GSU community ever since.

Scott Levin, director of the Department of Recreational Services — which has maintained the property at 900 South Indian Creek Dr. since 1992 — says that the area has seen a steady increase in use and the need for a bigger, better gathering space for functions was paramount.

“Originally, we thought we would do a major renovation of the lodge,” Levin said. “Then the question came up, ‘Well, what would it cost to knock it down and build it the way we want it?’”

Turns out, Levin said, it’s a lot cheaper. In 2010, the department began a master plan of the entire property that showed that rehabbing the lodge — once a family home — would cost more than tearing it down and building from the ground up.

Levin estimates the new $1 million building will take around four months to complete, and will feature three separate meeting rooms equipped with LCD screens, a full-service kitchen, a large fireplace and an elevated deck.

The building will also be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, meaning that it will be built using the latest green design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Levin says it will become the first LEED-certified building at GSU.

“It was important to us to be able to not only have a much nicer and more functional space for our students, faculty, staff and their families, but to build it in the right way,” Levin said.

In addition, the old tennis courts on the property will be removed to create more green space, and the team-building ropes course will be upgraded. The pool, home to the popular Polar Bear Plunge, was not disturbed by the construction.

Levin also says that, for the first time ever, the Indian Creek Lodge will become a venue for weddings — as long as the bride, groom or a family member is associated with GSU.

“Indian Creek has always been a jewel for the GSU community, and now it will really become something special we can call our own,” Levin said.