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Fun Center paints up new mural


© St. Petersburg Times, published June 11, 2000

TREASURE ISLAND -- Joggers, cyclists and skateboarders usually found on the streets here are featured on a new mural at the recently renovated Fun Center.

"We had been wanting to put one up for a couple of years," Fun Center manager Jenny Chapman said of the mural. She said the painting contractor suggested both the theme and the artist, Tampa's Ron Ballard.

The artwork also features swimmers, surfers, water scooter riders, in-line skaters, children doing bicycle tricks and a local motocross champion.

The Fun Center, 103 104th Ave., was purchased two years ago by Sunshine Vending Inc. of Clearwater. The owner, Robert Noell, said he spent about $35,000 on the mural and the refurbishing of the 33-year-old arcade. The Fun Center is part of a 9,000-square-foot building that also provides space for an American Legion post and a Subway sandwich shop.

"We are very happy with the mural," Noell said. "It has been such a drab building."

Noell said he also has removed the original Fun Center sign. He plans to spend another $20,000 to renovate the sign and move it this summer from the corner of the property to the center of the parking lot.

The Fun Center is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

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