Kristen Holmes, a University of Central Florida graduate student, portrays a schoolmarm during Saturday’s neighborhood block party at the university’s new Public History Center in Sanford. Holmes, who is pursuing a master’s in history, explains life in the classroom as it was in 1902, when the school was built.

The center opened for its first evening event to welcome about 75 people from the neighborhood for demonstrations and displays.

UCF recently signed a two-year lease on the building to hold classes, workshops and other projects to promote research and preservation. Previously, the building served as Seminole County Public Schools’ Student Museum for about three decades.