The Lake Minnetonka community's much-awaited new Hennepin County Library is a step closer to reality, with a groundbreaking ceremony taking place next month.

The event will start at 2 p.m. Aug. 12 at the building site, 337 Water St., Excelsior, next to the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail. Parking is available at Excelsior Elementary School and at City Hall.

It's been years — and two designs — in the making.

The cities of Excelsior, Shorewood, Tonka Bay, Deephaven and Greenwood first started talking about updating the library in 2004 but couldn't agree on funding. When the county decided to update it, the community rejected the modern glass-and-steel look, scrapping it for one that fit Excelsior's historic character with a brick exterior.

Now, the new county-owned $5.6 million library will replace the city-owned 1960s-era library that's nearly half the size. The updated library, which is expected to draw more visitors, is slated to open in summer 2014.