The Southeast Library in Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota is undergoing a $11.6 million makeover.
The library, operated by Hennepin County at 1222 SE. 4th Street, will close on Monday and reopen 10 to 12 months later with more space for reading and quiet study, multipurpose rooms and an expanded play and learn area for children and families, library officials said.
Plans call for increasing natural light with skylights and opening the center of the building by creating a view from the main floor to the lower level. In the lower level, bookshelves will be placed along the perimeter of the building to create a larger open space. A new canopy and seating will be installed outdoors.
“Southeast Library is an important place in this community — for young families, students and residents of all ages,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin. “You can see those community voices reflected in the design, and we’re looking forward to welcoming residents back to the new space next year.”
During the closure, the library also will receive technology upgrades, new heating, cooling, ventilation and electrical systems, fixes to leaking and drainage issues, and a new fire alarm system along with other safety and security enhancements.
The building was designed by architect Ralph Rapson and originally functioned as a credit union for university and state employees. It opened as a library in 1967. Renovations will stay true to the building’s history while supporting contemporary library service, library officials said.