Excelsior's long-awaited new public library has taken another step forward, with the Hennepin County Board last week approving a schematic design, construction documents and awarding of contracts.
New plans are for a $5.6 million brick building that looks more traditional and, at 7,200 square feet, will be almost twice the size of the existing building. It will be built about a block from the old library.
The library will have areas for teens, children and families; a meeting room; off-street parking; outdoor sitting areas and energy-efficient features.
Discussions to replace the rundown 1960s library began in 2004, but plans since then have advanced slowly. In 2011, a proposed design was rejected by residents because it was deemed too modern for the city's historic downtown.
The library will serve the Lake Minnetonka communities of Excelsior, Shorewood, Greenwood, Tonka Bay and Deephaven. It is expected to open in summer 2014.