Highland Arena Site Improvement Project

Contact us

Highland Arena building exterior

Project background

Charles M. Schulz Highland Arena in Saint Paul is one of Ramsey County’s busiest ice arenas, consisting of one year-round rink, one seasonal rink, a synthetic ice training area, and public meeting and lobby spaces. The existing parking lot, curbs and drainage infrastructure are degraded and failing. Water has begun running into the building, causing interior water damage. Facility expansion in the past has added to the drainage issues and site circulation problems.

Additionally, parking capacity does not sufficiently meet current facility program and event needs. The facility parking lots and sidewalks do not meet current requirements for ADA accessibility, and traffic flow and entry to the facility is inefficient. Existing site lighting is insufficient, and the facility has experienced several instances of petty theft from parked vehicles in the past. This project is an effort to address these, and possibly additional, issues for the long term.

Saint Paul Regional Water Service (SPRWS) owns the land on which the facility is located, as well as the reservoirs located immediately west and north of the facility. The reservoir west of the arena, Reservoir No. 1, is scheduled for demolition as part of this project. It has been out of commission since 2014 due to declining water usage.

Highland Park Reservoir Demo project


This project is a partnership between the county and SPRWS and will help minimize construction costs, coordinate the site design and optimize the overall construction sequencing to improve the Highland Arena and reservoir site to better serve residents.

Project goals

  • Improved stormwater management on site.
  • New bituminous pavement and associated site concrete, signage, lighting, and striping for safer, more efficient parking.
  • Improved pedestrian traffic flow throughout the site and facility.
  • Replacement of end-of-life-cycle facility HVAC equipment.
  • Improved landscaping.
  • Reservoir demolition to facilitate future site use.

Tentative project status and timeline

  • Design and estimating services – September - November 2020.
  • Planning, permitting, procurement – December 2020 - March 2021.
  • Construction services – April 2021 - October 2021.