Skip to main content


SHS Arts Campus | June - August 2020

Elements of the DHR Grant Proposal:

The historic significance for Stuart High School: In 1921, residents approved the bond issue to finance construction of the Stuart Elementary and High School at an estimated cost of $40,000. Ground was broken October 12, 1922. The school opened September 21, 1923, with principal Ethel C. Youngblood and enrollment of approximately 300 students. Two one-story buildings were added in the early 1950s for elementary classrooms in front of the original 1923 school building. The class of 1964 was the last to graduate from SHS.

Most recently the building has been home to the Martin County School District Administrative Offices and the Instructional Center for Education. By May 2016, all the school administrative offices had been moved to other locations across the county, leaving just the School Board meeting in the former auditorium. The building is located at 500 SE Ocean Boulevard, Stuart, just east of Stuart's Memorial Park and Stuart Middle School. The Department of Education has approved a request by the Martin County School District to demolish the structure.

Grant Project Scope:  As noted above this grant request is being made for due diligence design work. The current owner of the building, the Martin County School Board has been unable to produce any of the original design or as built documents for this building. The process of creating as build drawings will provide insight into all systems within the building allowing us to determine the feasibility of restoration. Based on the expert opinion of a restoration architect and contractor we are optimistic that the building is a suitable candidate for restoration. The schematic design phase will inform our space configuration and square footage potential and thus allow realistic operating revenue and cost projections. This phase will also begin to inform our capital cost estimates. The design development phase will further inform our capital cost estimates and reaffirm our interior layout. We would expect to have taken down full funding of this grant by the end of the design development phase.

At this point in time, with only anecdotal design information, we are anticipating a first phase construction cost of $5,000,000 to $6,000,000. This would fully restore the exterior of the building and create functional interior spaces ready for occupancy. Future phases would cover correct historical re-creation within interior spaces, full completion of specialty spaces and build out of performance and assembly spaces.