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From: First Night 2000 Charleston
To: Charleston Press and Media
A functional, two-story tall replica of the landmark Morris Island Lighthouse will serve as focal symbol in Charleston's First Night 2000 Millennium Celebration thanks to a partnership Fort Johnson Middle School has established with the Save the Light, Inc., the James Island PSD Fire Department and the James Island Lowe's.
The people of James Island and craftsmen from throughout the area will gather in the parking lot of the James Island Lowe's on Saturday, November 20th at 9:00 a.m. to build the base and tower. The public is encouraged to come, learn about the work and assist in completing the basic structure. After Saturday, the structure will go to Fort Johnson Middle School on James Island where art teacher Kit Loney and her students will cover the structure with paper mache and paint it to match the historic Victorian-era lighthouse so beloved by Lowcountry residents.
The students of Ft. Johnson Middle School will bring both art and academic skills to the project, studying the structure's history, reading about lighthouses and using math to prepare accurate scale plans for their model. The James Island PSD Fire Department is providing logistical assistance and the functional, rotating light that will go atop the structure. Save the Light, Inc. which is working to preserve the lighthouse, will provide historic information, drawings, volunteers and technical information on lighthouses to help with planning and construction. Lowe's is assisting the project by providing work space, materials and technical advice on construction methods and materials. The lighthouse is scheduled to be completed by December 1. Full details on the project, volunteer information and a list of needed materials can be found on the web at www.savethelight.org. Ft. Johnson Middle School needs a large number of brown paper bags to make the paper mache walls of the lighthouse.
First Night 2000 Charleston will set up the lighthouse in Marion Square on New Year's as part of this year's milestone New Year's Celebration. "Illuminating the Millennium" is the theme of this year's First Night Celebration and Charleston's beloved historic lighthouse is an appropriate symbol. The 161 foot - 1876 lighthouse now sits isolated and darkened in the Atlantic Ocean beyond the eroding shores of Morris Island on which it stood fifty years ago. Save the Light, Inc. and First Night Charleston 2000 are launching this project in hope that the century during which Ft. Johnson Middle School's students will grow up, will bring new light to both the old lighthouse and the world.