The Lee Board of County Commissioners is working with county staff to visualize a new, reimagined future for the Lee County Civic Center complex. The county has conducted and completed a facility-condition assessment study. The county is pleased to provide residents with the opportunity to explore an interactive map and share their thoughts using the new Civic Center survey. A summary of Board actions as well as information about the next steps for the complex will help keep you informed. The Board is committed to maintaining activities for 4-H and the Southwest Florida Fair. Check back frequently to keep up with evolving plans and further opportunities for public input for this important county site.

Study Summary

An assessment study of the Lee County Civic Center site located at 11831 Bayshore Road, North Fort Myers, FL was conducted by a team of specialized local architects and engineers licensed in Florida.

The study evaluated all 14 buildings of the approximate 100-acre property. The executive summary provides an overview of the completed comprehensive structural and architectural assessment and, along with input from the community, will help determine the best course of action for the facility to continue to host various activities.

Click to view executive summary
View executive summary

The Lee County Civic Center includes 163,255 square feet of floor space and was constructed to accommodate a variety of shows and events. The center has hosted concerts, agriculture events, fairs, trade shows, high school graduations and other events since its opening in 1978 and includes the county's fairgrounds. Lee County owns the Civic Center and the surrounding property. The property has been managed by the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association since 1996.

Although improvements and repairs have been made during its lifetime, an assessment of the facility's condition was needed to determine the best course of action to be able to continue to host various activities and support both 4-H and South Florida & Lee County Fair. 

Interactive Site Map & Drone Footage

Click on building numbers to view more details.
Estimated costs may be adjusted to reflect inflation.

Share Your Thoughts

Recent Board Actions

3/21/2023 BoCC Meeting Civic Center Discussion

The motion approved Tuesday, March 21, 2023, included:

  • Community Engagement will use a landing page, resident survey and other communications tools.
  • All buildings on the Lee Civic Center Facility property are closed effective immediately with the exception of the Civic Center main building, which will remain open until the conclusion of the Ft. Myers Gun Show, April 1-2.
  • County staff will present options at the next regularly scheduled Board of County Commissioners' meeting on April 4 that include recommendations for the 14 structures at the site.
  • County staff will provide options related to the Fair Board agreement with the county, which will automatically sunset Sept. 29, 2023, per the agreement. 

lee-county-4h.jpg Lee County 4H swfl-fair-logo.png Southwest Florida Lee County Fair

2/7/2023 BoCC Meeting Commissioner Greenwell Appointed to be Liaison with staff for Civic Center

2/15/2022  BoCC Meeting Approving Contract for Assessment

2/15/2022  News Release: Lee Commissioners award contract for civic center assessment 

History of the Civic Center

The Civic Center site has a long and storied history in North Fort Myers. The Lee Board of County Commissioners voted to spend $420,875 to purchase what was then known as Kickapoo Ranch, encompassing 96.2 acres, from Clarence Duffala on May 15, 1975.

In November of 1978, the main building opened and has been home to concerts and events including Bob Hope, Ice Capades, Royal Lipizzaner Stallions, Harlem Globetrotters, Jimmy Buffet, U2, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith,  Styx, Beach Boys, The Pointer Sisters, Foreigner, Bryan Adams and more. The complex has been home to the Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair since 1979.