Central Carolina Community College and Lee County leaders got a first-hand look Tuesday at the facility that is being converted into a facility that will provide training in cutting-edge technologies.

It’s the former Sanford location of Magneti Marelli, the Italian-based manufacturer of auto components, that was shuttered in 2021.

“It’s just absolutely great,” said E. Eugene Moore, who was among those touring the facility.

It’s a good thing he was impressed because the building will bear his name in the future as the E. Eugene Moore Manufacturing and Biotech Solutions Center.

Moore, an alumnus of Central Carolina, endowed the college with a gift of $2 million.

The property was purchased by Lee County in July for $7.4 million and was turned over to the community college to use as a job-training facility.

The rooms that once buzzed with manufacturing activity are quiet now, stripped bare of equipment and workers.

However, activity will return to the facility as renovations and refurbishing continues, including the removal of hazardous materials.

The county is working with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality to rid the facilities of them, according to County Manager John Crumpton.

The 22-acre campus is on Nash Street, beside the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center and abuts a portion of the Central Carolina campus.

Once completed, students will be trained with skills needed for the growing biotechnical community in the region. The center will have up-to-date manufacturing equipment, too.

“We’re hoping the school will tailor courses to our company needs,” Moore said. “There’s an extreme shortage of technicians here.”

As the cost to attend a four-year university or college continues to mount, the center and Central Carolina are poised to draw students to the area.

“The community college is the backbone of the community,” Moore said.

His gift is a way to give back the skills he developed while attending Central Carolina which have helped him in business.

Moore is the CEO of Bear Creek Arsenal, an international business located in Sanford.

Moore has one other objective in helping create the training center.

“I want to make the world a better place,” he said.

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