LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Lee County Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve an agreement to start the construction phase of a $16.6 million expansion of Lehigh Acres Park.
The park's community pool is a popular destination during Southwest Florida's hot summer days. As Lehigh Acres continues to grow, visitors to the park tell Fox 4 that the expansion is needed.
“The population out here is way more than it was like five, ten years ago," says Solita Sanchez, who's lived in Lehigh for three years.
“Everything’s more crowded now. Even just to get here - it took me like 25 minutes and I live just ten minutes down the road," she says.
That's part of the reason behind plans to develop 41 acres of vacant land to accommodate increasing demand.
“It’s hot out here. So I figured if they expanded it a little bit more, give us more places to sit, maybe sit down and have lunch while we’re waiting and stuff like that," says Sanchez, as she waits in line to use the park's pool.
More sitting room is just part of what's to come with the project, which includes the following:
- three football fields with lighting
- permanent restroom facilities
- disc golf course
- concession building
- locker rooms
- paved parking lot
- nature trails
The existing park is also getting an upgrade, with the addition of four new pickleball courts and a new maintenance building.
Peggy Felsted of Lehigh says the park has been a big part of her family's life.
“Our kids grew up at this park with little league and cheerleading. So we’re just thrilled for the kids in the community - that they will be able to enjoy that.”
Chris-Tel of Southwest Florida was chosen as the construction manager for the project.
The project is slated for completion by December 2023.