FHA Involvement

(Written December 2015. FHA continues to work with Parks & Rec and the Highland District Council on this project. Stay tuned to our blog and social media for real-time updates.)

The Pool House is close to the tipping point between preservation and demolition. Funding to stabilize the Highland Park Pool House has been a perennial Saint Paul Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) request by Parks and Recreation and the Highland District Council (HDC). Limited CIB funds are highly competitive and have not been awarded to the Pool House.

In July, 2015, Councilmember Tolbert, Saint Paul Parks & Recreation leadership, and representatives of HDC and FHA met to discuss the possibility of the Pool House as an “Arts and Recreation” venue. Everyone agreed that the Pool House building should be reused rather than demolished. In September, 2015, a walk through of the site with Saint Paul Parks & Recreation leadership, Council Member Tolbert’s office, and representatives of HDC, FHA and the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, confirmed the building is in dire need of repair.

The Historic Highland Pool House is close to the tipping point between preservation and demolition. Funding to stabilize the Highland Park Pool House has been a perennial Saint Paul Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) request by Parks and Recreation and the Highland District Council (HDC). Limited CIB funds are highly competitive and have not been awarded to the Pool House.

  • In July, 2015, Councilmember Tolbert, Saint Paul Parks & Recreation leadership, and representatives of HDC and FHA met to discuss the possibility of the Pool House as an “Arts and Recreation” venue. Everyone agreed that the Pool House building should be reused rather than demolished.
  • In September, 2015, a walk through of the site with Saint Paul Parks & Recreation leadership, Council Member Tolbert’s office, and representatives of HDC, FHA and the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, confirmed the building is in dire need of repair with holes in the roof and a buckling floor.
  • As a result of the walk through, in November, 2015, Parks & Recreation secured emergency CIB maintenance funds to replace the roof allowing for future reuse of the site.
    In 2016, FHA and HDC plans to work with Parks & Recreation to clean up the grounds of the Pool House and schedule programming and activities outside the Pool House.

If structural, functional and aesthetic problems are addressed and repaired, the Pool House can be repurposed as a valuable location and destination for park visitors. Together with other key stakeholders, FHA hopes to have a leadership role in:

  • Identifying potential redevelopment partners
  • Seeking funding from private donors and public funding sources
  • Facilitating design input for interior and exterior arts and programming space

The City of Saint Paul will retain ownership for the property, but may lease the building to a private party(s). In the long-term, FHA has the potential to take on the role of arts program management.

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