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Transforming Central

Transforming Central



Site Improvement Project

Transforming Central is a community effort to reshape the urban landscape of Central High School in order to improve the students’ daily experience, address the environmental impacts of our campus, and connect with the vibrant community that embraces the school.
Benefit concert and Silent Auction-

October 29, 2015 Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Transforming Central is hosting a benefit concert and silent auction featuring current and former Central High musicians on Thursday October 29th at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in downtown Saint Paul at 6pm. Tickets will be $15.00 before the event and $20.00 at the door. Information about tickets will be available on our Transforming Central Facebook page or purchase tickets at Ticketfly. Local musicians Sean McPherson (Heiruspecs, Dessa, Twinkie Jiggles Broken Orchestra) DeVon Gray (Heiruspecs, Brother Ali, Chastity Brown, Liminal Phase) and Linnea Mohn (Rogue Valley) will headline the entertainment. Starting off the evening’s entertainment will be three student bands: The Cymbalix, Loose Ends, and Gabby Z (2015 American Idol contestant).

auction poster If you wish to donate a silent auction item or help with the event please contact Maggie O’Reilly ( or Lisa Heyman (
2014 - 2015
Transforming Central wishes to thank the Sunrise Rotary Club, Pheasants Forever and the Gordon and Jeanne Shepard Foundation who recently awarded the project generous grants. This summer we applied for grants from the Minnesota Historical Society as well as the Mardag, Bigelow and Saint Paul Foundations. We continue to search for more grant opportunities. Over half of the $862,000 project budget has been raised through last winter’s grants from the Capitol Region Watershed District ($150,000) and Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (175,000). These grants will allow Capitol Region Watershed District to partner with St. Paul Public Schools to implement a variety of “best management practices” at Central that will improve the quality of the storm water discharged to the Mississippi River. This will reduce sediment by 86% and total phosphorus by 90% over the target area annually. Additionally, 95% of the storm water volume generated in the project area during a one-inch storm will be treated through infiltration.

The challenge at this time is finalizing the design and raising funds for the work above ground that will make the greatest impact on the students and community. Thank you to all of the Central families and friends who have hosted or attended house party fundraisers for the project. Every penny helps!
How can you help?

Volunteer: There is room for you on one of our committees (fundraising, communications, community outreach, events); share a few hours with a specific event or fundraising activity, help contact alumni and more. You can contact us via email

Donate: The capital campaign is underway! 100% of your contribution is tax deductible.front of school
Direct Giving
Host a House Party

Gather friends and family, treat them to a light supper, appetizers or desserts and ask for contributions. It’s a fun way to raise awareness and financial support. To host a house party email us at:

Keep in Touch:

Email: with questions or interest in being involved.

Transforming Central is on social media:




The Transforming Central project got underway by a dedicated group of parents, students and community members in the fall of 2011.

2011 – 2012

marshall In the fall of 2011, we partnered with student groups Root and Shoots and the National Honor Society to plant over 500 bulbs on the school grounds.

We surveyed students, faculty, administrators, parents and community members to gather input on desirable exterior improvements.

The survey results were incorporated into set of designs by The Metropolitan Design Center from the College of Art Design at the University of Minnesota. They analyzed Central’s site and looked at the functionality of the grounds, student use and perceptions as well as overall environmental concerns. At the completion of the year, the Metropolitan Design Council created the following document: Central High School: Transforming the Character of Place. This document and subsequent discussions have been instrumental in moving our vision forward.

2012 – 2013

During the summer of 2012 students and parent volunteers planted the three large tiers that frame the front exterior stairway with native perennials and grasses thanks to private donations and school support.

In November of 2012, Central was awarded $10,323 ($12,075 w/ Survey) in services from the Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) to analyze storm water runoff. This resulted in a conceptual design for improving aesthetics and solving environmental issues.

In September of 2013 The Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) awarded $50,000 to Central High School for the storm water retrofit project.

Awards – On October 27, 2014, the Lexington-Hamline Community Council awarded Transforming Central “The Good Neighbor Award” for its role in supporting the neighborhood as a great place to live.