Oxford Community Center to reopen on Saturday, February 18

To Our Saint Paul Community:  

The decision to close Oxford Community Center as the result of a shooting incident last month was both difficult and unprecedented, but a necessary step to center our focus on healing and recovery for our community, our youth, and our staff. We appreciate your patience and support throughout this process, and we continue to hold close everyone impacted by this event.   

This Saturday, February 18 we are reopening Oxford Community Center. We look forward to welcoming the community back inside—with a strengthened commitment to providing a safe facility and positive experiences for everyone who walks through the door. All are welcome to join us for free open swim from 12-5 p.m., gym games, and other recreational activities on Saturday. Starting Sunday, February 19, regular building and programming hours will resume. 

Over the past few weeks, we have spent time evaluating our current operations and procedures. We have been engaging with our staff, residents, and community partners to develop a roadmap toward reopening. Additional details will be provided on the facility website.

These conversations remain open and ongoing, but we have identified several initial measures we will take to increase safety, security, and support at Oxford Community Center. Prior to reopening or shortly thereafter, we will be modifying our building with a new access control system, security camera upgrades, and improved common areas. Our team members will receive additional training and onsite support, and we will be making changes to our staffing model to better serve the needs of the facility.  

We are working closely with our police department, Saint Paul Public Schools, violence prevention groups, and other community stakeholders as we continue to improve the Oxford Community Center experience for all. We will provide updates on these changes on the facility website and welcome and encourage feedback and dialogue from neighbors and users of the facility. 

I look forward to seeing you at Oxford Community Center soon, 

Andy Rodriguez, Director 

Saint Paul Parks and Recreation  

February 6, 2023: Oxford Community Center closure notice and timeline for reopening 

Oxford Community Center remains closed at this time. The outpouring of support and understanding we have received from patrons and the broader community has been felt by our entire team. Over the past couple weeks, our focus has been on making sure staff and community have the resources and support they need to process and heal during this difficult time. We have also been working through the steps required to reopen the facility to the public—balancing the needs of the community with our commitment to taking the necessary time to ensure a successful reopening for staff and participants. At this time we are looking at mid-to-late February for a potential reopening.

We appreciate your patience and understanding, and look forward to welcoming you back to the center soon.

January 22, 2023: Director Rodriguez's response to the tragedy at Oxford Community Center

Dear Friends and Neighbors,    

We are deeply saddened by the shooting incident that took place on January 18 outside Oxford Community Center, which resulted in the hospitalization of a teenager. Our hearts break for this young person and their family, as well as our staff and the entire community, who are now feeling the impacts of this senseless violence.   

As has been widely reported in the media, the individual that was arrested following the shooting worked at Oxford Community Center. They have been charged in Ramsey County District Court.

We are committed to providing safe facilities and positive experiences, and we are devastated that something completely counter to our mission occurred at one of our spaces. We are dedicated to supporting all who are impacted by this tragedy and are taking the necessary steps to ensure something like this never occurs again.   

To that end, Mayor Carter has ordered a comprehensive audit of policies, practices, and resources pertaining to public safety, staff training and discipline, and systems of support in our Saint Paul recreation centers. This process will be designed to center the expertise of residents and frontline staff, with our Parks and Recreation Commission serving as the primary focal point for public engagement. We will provide information and more specific timelines as the details of this process take further shape. 

As we continue to prioritize healing and recovery for our community, our youth, and our staff, Oxford Community Center will remain closed until further notice. Updates will be shared on our website at www.stpaul.gov/oxfordcc.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. We look forward to welcoming you back into Oxford Community Center soon.     

Andy Rodriguez, Director   
Saint Paul Parks and Recreation    

Last Edited: February 14, 2023