An independent day school serving grades K-12 | St. Paul, MN

Fencing Project

October 27, 2021

To our Randolph Campus neighbors,

In the coming weeks, SPA will complete the installation of fencing and gated entries around our Randolph Campus athletic fields. The new fencing will secure access to both the north side of our fields along the Drake Arena parking lot, and at the entrance to our campus on Davern Avenue just north of Niles, near the Middle School basketball court and swing set. We anticipate that the fencing and gate installation will be completed by the end of November.

We are taking these steps in order to provide additional safety and security for our campus community and to preserve the integrity of our athletic fields. Installing this fencing is also the strong recommendation of our insurance carrier, which has warned us of the risks and potential liability involved in an unsecured open space. Once installed, the fencing will allow us to protect our athletic fields when they are not in use; overnight security is of particular importance to us, as there have been several disturbing security incidents in recent months involving individuals on our fields late at night. These security measures are very much in line with other K-12 schools and colleges in the neighborhood, many of which have similar security around their athletic fields. 

Additional details of the project are below.

We anticipate that the entire project, including the installation of both the fencing and the entry gates, will be completed on or about November 29. We are confident that any disturbance to our neighbors will be minimal during the installation. 

Once the project is complete, on or about November 29, we will no longer permit dogs on our athletic fields. As soon as the construction timeline for the entry gates is finalized, the specific date for the no-dogs policy to go into effect will be posted near the entry gate and on this website. We encourage the community to investigate the off-leash dog parks maintained by the City of Saint Paul as alternatives to our athletic fields. 

The decision regarding dogs was a difficult one, as the school has tried for many years to accommodate the neighborhood's desire for an off-leash dog park. Unfortunately, the dog traffic on our athletic fields has become untenable in recent years. The resulting dog urine and excrement, in addition to the foot traffic of as many of 40 dogs and their owners, is damaging our fields and making it exceedingly difficult for our grounds staff to maintain them for their primary purpose, which is for our students to play sports and participate in Physical Education classes. We are also concerned about recent complaints from neighbors regarding the increasing number of unleashed dogs both on our fields and on the surrounding side streets; these complaints have included reports of children being bitten by unleashed dogs, and unleashed dogs running off our property into traffic on the side streets around the school. 

We will continue to welcome our human neighbors to use our fields for recreation. Access for adults and children in the neighborhood for purposes of recreation on the fields and on the track will continue. Once the project is completed, access to the fields will be through the entry gate by the tennis courts, located on the southwest corner of the Drake Arena parking lot. Hours for community access to the fields will be posted at this entrance in mid-November.

We understand that these changes may generate questions from our neighbors. To address these, we have created this website and feedback form about the project; we encourage you to submit the feedback form so that we may address your question or concern directly. You may also contact Mark Johnson, SPA Director of Operations and Security, or Ami Berger, SPA Director of Communications.

SPA has always endeavored to be a good neighbor and community member. We look forward to continuing a productive and safe relationship with our neighbors as we implement these changes.

Thank you, 

Bryn S. Roberts, Head of School
St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Fencing Project Feedback Form

Please submit your comment or question about the fencing project below. Thank you!