Palace Community Center Renovation

The Palace Community Center renovation is now complete! For information on current programming and amenities, please visit the Palace Community Center website.

Phase II: Site Improvements

April 12, 2016: We are currently working on the Second Phase of Palace Community Center Expansion: Site Improvements.

The scope of work for Phase II consist of the  addition of a new play area, the reconfiguration and enhancements of the ball fields with new backstops, bleachers and the installation of field lighting.  Additional improvements on the site are accessible walking paths, benches, picnic tables, bike racks and landscaping.

Community feedback was gathered at community meetings held during the first phase of the Community Center building expansion. We also conducted an Open House in December 2015, and a Survey posted on the Facebook Page.

The project is currently out for bid. If bids come in favorably, we anticipate construction work will take place from June through the Fall of 2016. The ball fields will not be usable during this time. 

PALACE Community Center PHASE 2 MASTER PLAN rendering.

Phase I: Building & Parking Construction (Completed)

Built in 1974, Palace is an 8,300 square foot recreation center in the West 7th neighborhood and one of the most highly attended recreation centers in the City of Saint Paul. CIB funding has been approved for some needed renovation and expansion work. The design will build on a Facility Upgrade Study completed in 2009 by Hagen Christiansen & McIlwain Architects. Through a thorough building analysis and community engagement, the study helped develop the vision and budget for the building upgrade. The resulting recommendations included major remodeling and expansion concepts for the first floor, relocation of the play area and adjustments to the layout of the athletic fields. Anticipated new program elements include a fitness room, meeting room, arts room, teen room, warming room and a multi-purpose room. These spaces will be verified through continued community engagement to ensure the results of the 2009 analysis are still valid today. Goals for the project also include making the facility more visually inviting, meeting ADA guidelines, and improving mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment.

Design began in September, 2014 with the selected Architecture firm, Lawal Scott Erickson (LSE). We are very excited to be proceeding with this project. Construction on building improvements will begin in 2015. Improvements to the greater park area are planned for the following year, 2016, coinciding with CIB funding.

Community Feedback

At the start of design a schedule for community feedback and interaction was put together. This includes a “Palace Design Advisory Committee” in which members, who join through an application process, view and discuss design ideas in a small group setting with the design team. Design Advisory Committee members are asked to help communicate questions and concerns with the community. The community engagement schedule also includes two design open houses. The open house meetings are a great way for a large group of interested community members to see design progress and communicate concerns, ideas and questions with the design team.

The first meeting of the Palace Design Advisory Committee occurred on September 30th. Among the discussion topics were ideas, goals, and hopes for the project by committee members and the design team. The design team also presented progress to date on the site plan and floor plan. Notes and schematic design plans from the meeting can be viewed through the link below under “Project Resources.” The Design Advisory Committee held its second meeting October 22nd, 2014 to discuss building design progress. This included a look at the potential building exterior, updated floor plans, and initial thoughts on interior and exterior materials. Also presented were ideas about playground possibilities: components for children of different ages and modern to traditional playground systems.

An Open House was hosted at Palace Recreation Center on October 28th, 2014. This was an opportunity for the community to ask questions of the design team and make comments on the building design. After a short presentation about the background of the project and overview of the design (linked below), visitors engaged in conversations with the design team from Parks and Recreation and LSE Architects to give feedback and ask questions. Sticky notes with comments were applied by visitors to design images. The goal was to get direct feedback from the community on the design. The focus of this Open House was the building exterior; a future open house will take a closer look at the site and interior design of the project.

On December 2nd, 2014 the final scheduled Design Advisory Committee was held. Interior material, floor pattern, and tile pattern concepts were reviewed and discussed, including modified interior renderings. LSE Architects presented material & color samples and gathered feedback on preferences. Common goals of committee members were to choose materials that related well to the neighborhood, were contemporary, but would not soon feel dated. (Notes and presentation slides are available through the link below). Although this was the final Design Advisory Committee meeting, opportunities for continued public input and communication were discussed.



Construction Updates


  • Design Open House 1: October, 28 2015, 6pm - See Presentation Link Below under Project Resources
  • Grand Opening: January 30, 2016

Project Resources

Links to Relevant Websites: