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Plans Move Ahead for New Excelsior Library

Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approves next stage of planning for a new library in Excelsior.

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners has authorized approval of schematic design and approval to proceed with design development, construction documents, advertisement and receipt of proposals, and awarding of contracts (if within approved budget) for the proposed new Excelsior Library. 

The current 3,750-square-foot library at 343 Third St.—built in 1965—has served the community for more than 46 years, and needs have outgrown the current space. Last year the library hosted 26,500 patron visits and circulated more than 206,000 items. 

In June of 2010, the board approved the purchase of property for the new library at 337 Water St. Initial work on the project was complemented by a community engagement process led by Commissioner Jan Callison, whose district includes Excelsior, to further clarify community interests and city requirements and to assist with the development of plans that would blend with the historic nature of downtown Excelsior.

The final design was developed in partnership with the library advisory council in April, and approved by the Excelsior City Council in August. 

The new 7,200-gross-square-foot library will include specific areas designed for teens, children and families—including collaborative study space for teens and an interactive, early-literacy space for children and families to use together. A multi-purpose room will provide space for library programs and community meetings.

The library will have a 24/7 exterior book return, off-street paved parking, outdoor sitting areas and many energy-efficient features. 

The library will continue to serve the South Lake communities of Excelsior, Shorewood, Greenwood, Tonka Bay and Deephaven.

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