Brooklyn Park Library plans approved

More than seven years in the making, a new Brooklyn Park Library is expected to break ground this spring.

After schematic plans for the new 38,000-square-foot county library were finished, a Hennepin County committee approved both the schematic plans and an engineering and architectural contract with Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Inc. during an Oct. 29 meeting. The Hennepin County Board granted final approval of the schematic plans on Nov. 5.

At 38,000 square feet, the new Brooklyn Park Library would more than double the existing library’s size of 15,100 square feet. The new library’s construction is expected to break ground in the spring and finish in 2016. (Graphic courtesy of Hennepin County.)
At 38,000 square feet, the new Brooklyn Park Library would more than double the existing library’s size of 15,100 square feet. The new library’s construction is expected to break ground in the spring and finish in 2016. (Graphic courtesy of Hennepin County.)

The new library on the northeast corner of 85th Avenue North and West Broadway Avenue will be more than twice the size of the existing 15,100 square-foot-library located on Zane Avenue North.

It will carry more than 90,000 books, movies and music, and it will incorporate media areas, meeting rooms with capacities between 6-60 people and many other features and amenities, according to the plans. It will also include a 250-space parking lot.

“The new library planning is rooted in the work of the Brooklyn Park Library Task Force,” said Hennepin County Library Director Lois Thompson.

The library’s three themes will focus on geography, world culture and components of science, technology, engineering, arts and math education, known as STEAM.

Rather than devoting particular sections to these themes, they will exist within the libraries features, Thompson said. Those features include an Early Literacy Interactive Area, a possible 14-foot flat screen that would provide “virtual field trips,” and a lab where teens can use computers and production tools to create a range of projects.

The library will be located across 85th Avenue from North Hennepin Community College, the expected host of a light rail train station along the proposed Bottineau Transitway, which would carry passengers from Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park.

The $1.29 million engineering and architectural piece of the $23.5 million project was approved by the county’s Public Works, Energy & Environment Committee, and will be on the County Board’s consent agenda for its Nov. 5 meeting.

Once approved, construction would begin in the spring, and the library is expected to open in 2016, Thompson said.