Frost Lake Elementary School - Addition and Remodel Project

  • School traffic flow changes 

    On April 21, 2021, Saint Paul Public Schools will present a Frost Lake Elementary - Idaho Avenue design update at the Greater East Side District Council’s Board meeting; we will be on the agenda between 7-7:15  p.mIf you’d like to view the meeting, here is the Zoom meeting link

    We will present the final design for changes to the south side of Idaho Avenue. Starting fall of 2021 Frost Lake Elementary’s guest access and family drop-off will be at the main entrance on Hoyt Ave. The bus drop-off will move to the north side of the building on Idaho Ave. where the road is flatter (safer for winter conditions). 

    See the diagram below (top) comparing the existing curb location (street edge) to the new one; the diagram below that shows the changes to parent and bus drop-off locations.

    For questions or comments, contact SPPS project manager Rosemary Dolata at 651-717-8238 or

    Frost Lake Elementary curb cut

    Click image for larger view:

    Existing versus planned traffice flow at Frost Lake Elementary

    Note: Construction at Frost Lake Elementary at 1505 E. Hoyt Ave. began on July 1, 2020.

    Click on the image below for a larger view:

    Aerial view of former recreation center to be replaced by green space and area where the new 2-story addition will be added

Watch this video of Frost Lake Elementary's construction progress (January 27, 2021)

  • Frost Lake Elementary construction progress video

New Playground Design

Remodeling Project Scope

  • A. Capital Improvement Key Points: 

    • Renovation of Existing Learning Spaces
    • Renovation of Restrooms
    • New Kitchen Addition
    • Common and Administration Addition

    B. Asset Preservation Key Points:

    • HVAC and Controls Replacement
    • Site Drainage Replacement
    • Lighting Replacement
    • Playground  
    • Fire Suppression
    • Fire Alarm Systems

    C. Communication  and Security Camera updates

    PROJECT TIMELINE (subject to change)

    Summer 2020 - Summer 2021: Construction of new building addition, front entry, office area, and playground

    Fall 2021 School Start: New front entry, office, building addition, and playground open; family pickup/drop-off moves to the Hoyt Ave. entry, bus pickup/drop-off moves to Idaho Ave.

    Fall 2021- Spring 2022: Phased renovation of existing school building

    Summer 2022: Complete renovation of the existing school; demolish former rec. center building

    Fall 2022 School Start: Project complete

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Will new exterior LED lighting be installed on the school property?

    The exterior lighting at Frost Lake Elementary school was upgraded to LED lights in 2018.  This change was made to improve the site lighting and reduce energy use. As neighbors may recall, some adjustments were needed following the initial installation to ensure the lighting was properly focused within the school site.

    Changes to the school site, including the new building addition, will require some additional lighting. The lessons learned from the earlier installation will be reflected in the new design to again ensure the lighting is properly focused within the school site.

    2. Will the new project include additional staff parking to cut back on street parking?

    The remodel does not include adding new parking. However, the intention is that the existing school parking lots, especially on Idaho Ave., will become more appealing once the former rec center building is removed. Currently, the rec center blocks the view from the school to the parking lots located on the west side of the rec center. With the addition of new security cameras and improving site lines from the school to the parking lots, it is anticipated these more distant parking options will become more attractive to staff.

    3. How early can construction work start in the morning?

    Per city ordinance, construction work may not start in Saint Paul before 7 a.m. On two occasions during the first weeks of construction (July 2020), contractors were heard making noise on site before 7 a.m. We believe this issue has been corrected and should not happen again. If any construction noise is heard on this project site before 7 a.m., please let the project manager know. It is very important to us that we are respectful neighbors, including during construction.

    4. What about the Frost Lake sledding hill?

    The best location for Frost Lake Elementary School's building addition included a hill that was used for winter sledding. While this hill will be missed, there are some positive site changes planned. There will be a new playground created next to the new gym and cafeteria currently under construction. At the end of the project, in 2022, when the former rec. center building is razed , there will be new green space on site.

    If your family would like to be part of the playground planning process, please sign up for project updates (see right side of this page at the top) to learn about coming community engagement opportunities.

    5. Will the school's main entrance change?

    Frost Lake Elementary School's front entrance will remain on Hoyt Ave. in approximately the same location it has been. The entrance will be remade to improve both visibility and security.

  • February 20, 2020 - Update

    Construction at Frost Lake Elementary School is anticipated to begin in 2020. The project will include a new main entry, a building addition, and a full building renovation.

    Zoning Variance: As part of this project, SPPS requested a zoning variance for the percentage of windows on the north side of Frost Lake Elementary School. The existing north (Idaho Avenue) elevation, composed of the existing school building and recreation center, includes a 9.3% window area. Current zoning code requires 15% window area. With the demolition of the recreation center and the added new construction, the overall north facing window area will be increased from 9.3% to 13.2%. However, this is still less than 15%, thus the need for a variance. The north facing gym in the new addition includes 16.3% window area.

    On January 15, 2020, the Greater East Side Council voted to support the District's variance request. And on January 27, 2020, the City of St. Paul's Board of Zoning Appeals approved the variance. See the image of the proposed exterior design as viewed from Idaho Ave. in the image gallery above.

    Project Schedule: Construction is expected to begin summer 2020 and be completed by fall 2022.

    Main Entry: One of the most significant improvements at Frost Lake will be a new main entry for the school. The new entry will face Hoyt Avenue.
    The new entry is designed to be more welcoming and secure than the existing building entry. New administrative offices will be located next to the entry for better supervision and convenience.

    Building Addition: The first phase of the project will be the construction of a new two-story addition just west of the existing building, near Hoyt Avenue.

    The addition will include a new larger cafeteria and standard-sized elementary school gym, as well as new kindergarten and pre-K classrooms, which will be on the same level as the existing school.

    The new cafeteria and gym will be a level below, taking advantage of the site's natural slope. The existing playground will be replaced with a new playground, which will be located adjacent to the new gym and cafeteria.

    Building Renovation: After the building addition is complete, the existing school will be fully renovated. The renovation will include new lighting, new finishes, updated technology, and new inclusive restrooms, as well as some layout improvements. The renovation work will occur in multiple phases.  When the renovation work is complete, the existing recreation center will be torn down.

Frost Lake Elementary construction video
  • On September 19, 2019, the design team attended the school's fall Open House to gather input from students and families through an interactive display; see the photo gallery above.

  • Sign Up for Updates!

    Receive periodic project updates on Frost Lake Elementary's building addition and remodeling.

Contact Information