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BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- A 'Colonial era Schooner' is in the works to be built at the Brunswick downtown waterfront.

Joe Lawson, retired from the sales and marketing field, needs the city's cooperation and a few million dollars, according to First Coast News' partner the Florida Times-Union.

The plan is to build a 56-foot vessel that could travel under sail or from the power of an inboard motor. It would be built at the grounds where the former Public Works Department was, according to the T-U.

The ship would be a unique tourist attraction, which Lawson hopes would draw middle school students and teachers, along with their friends and family, from 31 counties to the area.

According to the T-U, Lawson has pitched his proposal to the city for a couple of years. He also founded a nonprofit group called the Historic Brunswick Sea Port Corporation to help raise funds and recruit volunteers.

A fourth-generation boatbuilder and project manager, Gary Thompson told the T-U he has the expertise to bring Lawson's project to fruition, estimating it will cost $1.6 million to $3.2 million.

City Manager Bill Weeks said to the T-U that the city will give Lawson a fair hearing on the proposal, but he needs to come up with a definite plan and some hard numbers.