Size: 39,221 square feet
Lot size: 6 acres
Developer: Hennepin County Libraries
Architect: HGA Architects
Details: Plans for a new, $23.5 million Hennepin County Library next to North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park moved forward this month with site plan submissions for the 39,000-square-foot building.
Library officials hope to open the new facility in 2016, replacing the current 1970s-era library at 8600 Zane Av. N.
Renderings and building plans submitted by HGA Architects at a May 14 planning commission meeting showed a mix of materials including slate, zinc metal panels and cedar wood siding with a generous amount of glass to provide natural lighting. Its landscaping scheme includes an “outdoor reading room” and boasts areas of native grass.
Parking will be available for about 200 cars with room for 64 more in the future, but HGA said the site plan on the 6-acre lot was laid out to also provide easy access for pedestrians, public transportation users and bicyclists. The city has indicated it will work with Hennepin County and NHCC to create a temporary pedestrian connection to 85th Avenue N. through a school-owned parcel at the northeast corner of the intersection with West Broadway.
Longer-term, the parcel is slated to become a community college plaza and would serve as a direct connection between the library and a planned future Bottineau Transitway light rail stop. The plaza would also provide unrestricted views of the library from the intersection.
The city commission approved the site plan unanimously, and it will next be considered by the City Council at its May 27 meeting.
Don Jacobson is a St. Paul writer. He can be reached at email@example.com.