City Council held a ceremony to dedicate the new lights at Mack Cook Stadium this past Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. The lights are part of renovations at The Campus and were funded with more than $200K in donations.
Last year, the City started redeveloping The Campus into a new event venue in Downtown Lenoir. Part of that renovation is the new lights at Mack Cook Stadium. The Campus is also included in the new Downtown Master Plan, currently under development.
"I'd like to say a special thank you to all of our donors and everyone who has been involved," Mayor Joe Gibbons said during the event. "I had a great experience being able to go to school here and play football on this field as many others did. I’m so glad the lights are back."
Mayor Gibbons personally thanked all of the donors who fully funded the project including:
- State of North Carolina & State Representative Destin Hall
- The Jonas Foundation & A.G. & Linda Jonas
- Wilson Family Foundation & Yorke Lawson facilitated by Caldwell Rotary
- Lenoir Tourism Development Authority
- Blue Ridge Energy
The new lights cost $213,522.
Mayor Gibbons also thanked Mike Torrence and Jason Stoots with Torrence Sports Lighting, Inc., Caldwell Rotary President Seth Nagy, former Parks & Recreation Director Kenny Story, and the City Public Works Department for all their efforts to make the project happen.
Mayor Gibbons said the goal is to have more community and possibly private events at Mack Cook Stadium, such as concerts, reunions, and more athletic events.
"Let’s officially dedicate Mack Cook Stadium Lights to the people of the City of Lenoir," Mayor Gibbons said. City staff then flipped the switch (actually, they entered a digital code) and turned on the lights.
There are four light poles at the stadium. Each pole holds 16 lights and there are 232 light-emitting diodes (LEDs) per light. That’s 14,848 LED lights that will illuminate the field.
Lenoir High School turned 100 years old this year. The first game was played in the stadium in 1923. The field was dedicated to Mack Cook in 1952. Mr. Cook was head of janitorial services at the school for many years.
The Campus at the Historic Lenoir High School (LHS) includes the LHS auditorium, gymnasium, The James C. Harper Band Building, trades/masonry building, Mack Cook Stadium, and a recently acquired property across Harper Avenue that could become a Farmers Market Pavilion.
Mack Cook Stadium is located at 1120 College Ave. SW in Downtown Lenoir.
Related: City installing lights at Mack Cook Stadium, Jan. 12, 2023
City Council, donors, and staff pose for a photo in front of the new lights at Mack Cook Stadium Friday, Oct. 27, 2023.
Planning Director Hannah Williams, left, and Lenoir Tourism and Development Authority Chairman Dana Clark.
Yorke Lawson, right, speaks with Sylvia Torrence, who is Mike Torrence's mother, center, and other attendees.
City Council and former Parks and Recreation Director Kenny Story pose in front of the new lights. Pictured from left: Councilman Jonathan Beal, Story, Councilman Todd Perdue, Mayor Joe Gibbons, Councilman Kent Greer, Councilman David Stevens, Councilman Ike Perkins, and City Manager Scott Hildebran.
Drone video of The Campus, Mack Cook Stadium, and the new lights | By Seth Nagy, NC Cooperative Extension