Learn More About Florida’s Space Coast – Melbourne, FL
Today, the City of Melbourne is approximately 38 square miles in size, with about 75% of that land in use. The population was 76,742 as of April 1, 2006, as estimated by the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.
Melbourne served as an official host city for the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay. The Olympic flame was carried across the nation before reaching Atlanta and the Olympic Centennial Games. Thousands of area residents enjoyed seeing the Torch Relay, which symbolized the competitive and unifying spirit of the Olympic Games.
While most of Melbourne is located on the Florida mainland, a small portion is located on a barrier island. The Indian River Lagoon separates the mainland from the island. The island is a narrow strip of land that separates the Lagoon from the Atlantic Ocean. (In prehistoric times the Lagoon was connected to the Ocean. Today, the only connection is by way of a handful of inlets, including the manmade Sebastian Inlet at the southern end of Brevard County.)
Melbourne promotes economic development and is actively engaged in revitalization efforts in three areas of the city. Information and assistance is available from the Planning and Economic Development Department. The Melbourne metropolitan area has been ranked as one of the most affordable in the nation for homebuyers in a survey by the National Association of Home Builders. The 1998 “Money” Magazine ‘Best Places’ survey rated Melbourne and Brevard County 7th among medium-sized Southern communities.
The contemporary City of Melbourne is the result of a merger of the separate communities of Melbourne and Eau Gallie. An election allowed the consolidation under a common charter on July 15, 1969. The official county seat is Titusville, however nearly all county administration is performed from Viera. There has been no official change to the county seat since 1894. Since Brevard County extends so far from north to south, it has more than one county courthouse and police station. The government services are not centralized in one location, as they are in many American counties.
College education in Brevard County is provided by the Brevard Community College and Florida Tech in Melbourne, and the University of Central Florida in Cocoa and Palm Bay. The Brevard Community College is a two-year college, which has multiple campuses in the northern, central, and southern parts of this county. BCC also offers vocational programs that do not count for College credit and serve to meet the needs of the community. Florida Tech is a typical University which offers Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees, specializing in engineering and the sciences. There are also a few for-profit colleges such as Keiser College, Webster and Barry University.