St. Paul Public Library is hiring a Black-owned, Minneapolis-based design and architecture firm to transform three of its branches.

LSE Architects was awarded a $589,000 contract to redesign the Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights and Riverview libraries. The three branches have not been renovated in more than 30 years and are in need of technology updates and more spaces for patrons to learn and play, according to the library system.

The firm was selected from a competitive pool including numerous local and national applicants with library experience, according to a St. Paul Public Library (SPPL) news release. LSE's work to redesign the three locations will include schematic designs, community engagement, cost estimates and some construction documents.

SPPL Director Catherine Penkert said in the news release that LSE's selection is an exciting step in the libraries' efforts to secure support and resources to transform three well-loved, well-used and well-worn branches into hubs of community, learning and connection.

"They bring immense skills and experience to the table as we co-create a vision for library spaces that meets the needs of the community now and for future generations," Penkert said.

Input from 3,000 community members has already been included in the redesign process, according to the library website.

LSE's past projects include renovations of the Highland Park and Sun Ray libraries in St. Paul and Webber Park, Nokomis, North Regional and East Lake libraries in Minneapolis.

Community engagement and schematic design work is slated to begin in January.