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Rec center’s name to be ‘Apple’ of public’s eye

County contest will decide Lovejoy facility’s moniker

— Voting in Clayton County will not stop on Election Day after all.

Although the long 2012 presidential election cycle will end this week, county residents are just beginning to make a decision that hits closer to home and will be around for a long time to come.

They have to come up with a name for the new recreation center being built in Lovejoy.

The Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department kicked off part one of a two-part naming contest for the facility over the weekend. Residents can submit suggestions for the center’s name this week, and then vote on their favorite proposal during part two next week, said Amy Keeney, the department’s marketing and communications manager.

“We just wanted to allow the public to have some input and let them decide what the center should be named since they’ll be the people using the facility,” said Keeney.

This is the first time the county’s recreation department has turned the naming of a recreation center over to residents. Keeney said the department has used this format before, but that was to let the public pick a logo for the department a couple of years ago.

The last two recreation centers that opened in the county — the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center in Rex and the Virginia Burton Gray Recreation Center in Riverdale — were named after former county commissioners. The new center in Lovejoy is expected to open “sometime in December,” according to the parks and recreation department’s spokesperson.

Residents have until Friday at midnight to submit up to three suggested names for the recreation center through a special website set up at www.claytoncountyga.gov/namecontest/. Three names or less equals one submission and only one submission per household is allowed, per contest rules. The rules also bar county employees and their immediate relatives from entering the contest.

The people who submit the top three names in the contest will receive Apple computer products, including an iPad for the grand prize winner, an iPod Nano for the person who suggests the second-place name and an iTunes gift card for the person who suggests the third-place name.

Keeney said there will be a very short turnaround between the time when the last name suggestion is submitted and when voting begins on the county’s website.

“We’ll put them online on Monday, Nov. 12, and people will be able to vote on their favorite name at that time,” said Keeney.