Thursday, March 9, 2017

The FPAN East Central Regional Office Has Moved To Sanford

First Stree, Sanford 188-, Florida Memory, image #PR09718

FPAN's East Central office has been in Brevard County since the office was established there in 2006/2007. It was first hosted at the Brevard Community College's Titusville campus (Go Titans!). In 2010 it moved to the Florida Historical Society, also in Cocoa (Go Archivists!). As changes in FPAN saw the regions coalesce into what we affectionately call "uber-regions," the FPAN office was hosted out of the back room of an Outreach Coordinator's house for a year (Go House-cats!) and then moved into office space on Merritt Island (Go MIers!). But changes were afoot. Recognizing the need for more office space (3D printers printing, drones buzzing, volunteers popping in, science happening at every corner!) we began to look around the larger region and see where else we might bring the joy of an FPAN office. And so we ended up in Sanford (Go Celery!...no, seriously. They're awfully proud of their celery growing history. You can ask any Sanfordian for a stick of celery at any time and they are beholden to give you one).
Growing Celery, Sanford 19--, Florida Memory, image PC3077

Our office is in a building that is in the process of being renovated, we are the first to call this office home. But we are by no means the first to have inhabited the building. The red-brick building where you can come find us began life as the Sanford elementary school. Built in 1902, the building educated generations of Sanford's citizens until 1985 when it closed. The building reopened as a student museum, later partnering with the UCF History Department in 2012. The student museum was a unique and wonderful idea: students learned about the past and helped their peers learn by assisting in the creation of exhibits. Unfortunately, the aging building required a great deal of upkeep. The Seminole County school board decided that they had to sell the building and there was a great fear in the community that a beautiful and unique part of Sanford's history would be lost.

Luckily, the current owners swooped in and decided to save the building. Currently it is being renovated to be office and meeting space. The renovation, however, is actually restoring the interior to its former glory; added walls that blocked light are being knocked down, original architectural components are being rebuilt, the glued on carpets are being torn up and the beautiful heart pine wood floor beneath is being lovingly restored.
Sanford School House/Preservation Hall, the location of the new FPAN EC office

We have a lot we want to do now that we've moved. We now have space to host the public, or have more than one volunteer sitting in a cubby hole assisting us. We have 3D printers whirring as we work to finish a project that incorporates 3D modeled artifacts into our current curricula. We are ready to put our office space to use for you and we look forward to all that Sanford has to offer (have you been to the Willow Tree Cafe?).
The Public Archaeology chariot awaits new adventures at the FPAN EC office in Sanford


Stay tuned for information on our big welcome party. If you're in Sanford, come and say hello!
The Willow Tree Cafe provides FPAN with much needed sustenance


Text: Kevin Gidusko
Pics: Kevin Gidusko except
Images 1,2: https://www.floridamemory.com/
Final image, Willow Tree: https://www.pinterest.com/karenmoorescott/sanford-florida/

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