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Artists 'Paint Out' to Save Historic Old Mel Hi, Thursday, March 5

Old Melbourne High School

To call attention to the effort to save historic old Mel Hi from being sold to a single bid developer for an apartment building that could be built elsewhere, more than a dozen local artists will stage a 'Paint Out' at old Melbourne High School on East New Haven Avenue in historic downtown Melbourne on Thursday, March 5 from 10am to 3pm.

The public is invited to observe the artists at work -- and learn about the effort to save old Mel Hi and what they can do to help.

A dozen artists have signed up, including Bill McCoy, Peggy Rank, Mary Warnick, Randy Procter, Ranju Bacrania, Karen McDonald, Cissie Jones, Tom Powers, Alex Stankiewicz, Leigh Osgood and Spence Guerin. Some will be working in oil paint, some in watercolor, and some will be drawing. One artist may be giving away quick sketches.

Artists in all media are invited to participate, including photography and video, plus street musicians, jugglers, magicians, drum tribe, modern dancers, ballet dancers, mime artists -- for a fun and informative event.

We're creating an event for a good cause: saving historic old Mel Hi building from the wrecking ball, and -- just perhaps -- ultimately establishing an arts + cultural center in appropriate reuse of the old high school building. This will require a rescue from the anticipated sale of the building. Informational flyers will be made available to the public.

The organizing artists support the call for a 'time-out' on proceedings to sell the building. The City of Melbourne has never conducted a feasibility study for options -- including long range benefits of an art and cultural center.

"There have been no public hearings on this issue. This is an architecturally significant historical building -- even if the City Manager told the School Board it is an eyesore, as he promoted the sale of the building," said Spence Guerin, one of the event's organizers, "and we should allow time to fully explore options via feasibility study for reuse of this community asset -- before it's too late."

Historian Bob Gross has said old Melbourne High School is "the last significant public building of the 1920s 'boom era' that is still in the public domain." The building qualified for the National Register of historic buildings in 1990.

More information about the cause or to join the Paint Out to Save Old Mel Hi, please see http://www.oldmelhi.com or call Spence Guerin at 321-917-2468.