Marquee Signs: FAQs
1. Why does the public school district need site signs?
The goal of site marquee signs is to make sure that all of our schools have the same ability to communicate timely, pertinent and celebratory information to the greater community, while helping students, parents, and community in navigating into our sites and buildings.
2. What determines the design and size of a site marquee sign?
The final design of a site marquee sign is based on a synthesis between the zoning code, the legibility of the sign, the context of the school and neighborhood, and the maintenance of the sign. In residential districts, the actual signage portion of a site marquee is limited to thirty square feet per sign face.
For Saint Paul Public Schools, that area on each side is typically evenly divided into fixed signage and a dynamic display. The fixed portion is for the name of the school, and the dynamic portion is for current and changing information. In residential districts, the overall height of a site marquee sign is limited by the zoning code to four feet tall plus two inches per foot the sign is located away from the property line.
For example, a marquee sign located 6’-0” from the property line is allowed to be 5’-0” tall. Saint Paul Public Schools’ site marquees are designed to be safely legible for a car driving past at an appropriate speed, while still respecting the character of our neighborhoods. The site marquee signs have a base, typically constructed of the same material as the main building’s façade, that raises the signage area in order to:
- Increase visibility of the signage.
- Ensure that the signage area is above the snow during winter.
- Provide landscaping at the base.
- Reduce maintenance issues.
3. Is the sign going to be illuminated?
Yes. Internally illuminated signs are permissible per zoning code, and Saint Paul Public Schools believes lighting the signs from within allows for greater legibility of the sign and less light spillage into adjacent properties and the evening sky.
In residential districts, all sign illumination must be turned off between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
4. What exactly does a “dynamic display” mean? Will there be scrolling text?
In order to communicate timely information, each site marquee has a digital message board that is remotely programmed with new messages. The content for the dynamic display is generated by leadership at each individual school and is intended to convey programmatic offerings (e.g. International Baccalaureate), current events, and recognition of school achievements.
Per the zoning code, the messages must be monochromatic (typically red letters on a black background) and only one message per twenty minutes is allowed. Transitions between messages cannot be animated, so no scrolling, blinking, or other distracting effects will occur. The dynamic display must follow the same hours of operation as the sign illumination (i.e. turned off between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.).
5. Who do I contact if a site marquee sign does not follow the guidelines above?
The main office of the school is the best place to alert Saint Paul Public Schools of these issues; visit this page for a list of schools and their contact information. If you are unable to reach someone at the school, please contact the Facilities One-Stop at 651-744-1800 and they will connect you with a Facility Planning Project Manager that will be of assistance.