By Richard Sullins |

During the 1,098 days since the November 2020 referendum when Lee County voters approved a $25 million bond referendum to create a multi-purpose location for athletic and wellness events to be sited, the property obtained by county commissioners has been known generically as the “Multi-Sports Complex.”

But on Monday the Lee County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to name the facility as the “Lee County Athletic Park,” and it will be known locally by its acronym, “L-CAP.” Associated along with the park’s name will be a tagline saying, “Sporting Legacies, Lasting Memories, Built Brick by Brick.”

The county had sought input from the public in the naming of the facility through means of an online survey through its website. Ben McQueary, budget and management analyst in the county’s Administrative Office, reported 183 suggestions for the name were received through the portal. The Administration staff reviewed those and forwarded them on to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, who added some additional names for consideration.

The Advisory Committee wanted to bring to the commissioners a list of recommendations that contained no more than three names, and these were presented on Monday: Central Carolina Athletic Park, Brickyard Athletic Park, and Legacies Athletic Park. The staff recommended selection of Central Carolina Athletic Park as the name for the complex.

During the discussion, Republican Commissioner Taylor Vorbeck asked whether “Lee County Athletic Park” had been considered as a possible name, saying that a lot of businesses in the county already begin with the words “Central Carolina” and “we might lose the identity of what we are trying to do with the athletic park by going that way and trying to make a name for Lee County and what we are trying to bring to the area.”

Instead, she proposed using Lee County in the name, thinking that it “might be a good way to catapult the county into the forefront instead of putting it in the background.”

A tentative date of December 8 has been set for the groundbreaking, although no time has yet been reserved.

A local contracting firm, Sanford Contractors, was awarded the winning bid for the project at the board’s September 18 meeting, following receipt of their lowest base bid of $26,817,160 to build the park.

Sanford Contractors’ bid also included bids for two additional add-ons, or alternates, to the project if funds are available after the base bid is completed. The first is $3,628,437 for additional restrooms and two natural turf fields. The second alternate would construct a compacted earth walking trail at the complex at a cost of $116,796.

A separate series of votes paved the way for financing the project. The commissioners approved the issuance and sale of $25 million in Limited Obligation Bonds for initial funding, along with the execution of the legal documents to authorize the sale.

The Local Government Commission approved the sale of the bonds on September 19, and before the end of business that afternoon, they had been sold for just under $26.7 million.