Creating a Vibrant Arts Campus
The Vision for Stuart High School
Since a strategic planning retreat in 2016 the board has reignited its pursuit for a facility that can serve the community as a multifaceted arts center and campus. It was at that planning retreat, that school board member Christia Li Roberts and county commissioner Doug Smith, made the board aware that Martin County school district staff members had moved out of the facility, leaving just the school board meeting space active. A few members toured the facility in 2017 after the strategic plan was adopted by the Council board.
Since that time, a group of community stakeholders including Renay Rouse/Florida Arts & Dance Company, Linda Reymore/Treasure Coast Youth Symphony, Alan Hopper/Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Amanda Jones/MCHS-Art teacher, Kia Fontaine/Lyric Theatre, Doug Jewett/Treasure Coast Community Singers, Ted Astolfi & Eric Kiehn/Economic Council, Inez Frid/Martin Health Systems, and Elizabeth Barbella & Robin Cartwright/Martin County Community Foundation gathered to craft the vision, mission, and key roles.
Why create an arts center?
To convert the historic Stuart High School into a community arts center that will provide access to and create experiences in the arts and education. The self-sustaining center will incorporate multiple mixed-use venues including space for working artists, performances, lectures, commerce, and office space. The center will enhance and expand arts education opportunities for K-12 students; preserve the historical art deco building and grounds creating a regional destination; foster public interaction with local artists including showings, demonstrations and classes; incorporate a technology space to be shared among tenant organizations and visitors; serve as an anchor for downtown expansion; be an incubator for interactions between the nonprofit arts community and the broader creative sector through collaboration and partnership; and become the facility providing the cultural infrastructure so essential to improving the quality of life of all Treasure Coast residents.
Today, we are at a critical juncture of this journey to create this impactful community-wide, collaborative project. In 2021, Straticon Construction and its subsidiary, S. York, LLC, coordinated the due diligence process including a review of the structural analysis, the MEP (mechanical electrical and plumbing) systems, and environmental analysis. This review is complete and yielded feedback that was positive within the scope of a building that is nearly 100 years old.
A quiet campaign to cover these pre-construction costs, estimated at approximately $200,000 is underway. To learn more or to discuss a contribution, please call Nancy Turrell, 772-288-5397 ext 4.
Interested in learning more? Join us for an upcoming walk through of the site and vision. We'll meet at 500 SE Ocean Boulevard in the lobby of the main building. The tours typically take about 1 hour. When you register, you can see the times of the tours on the following dates. Registration is required so we can plan appropriately and share additional details with you.