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Southeast Library near U of M closing Monday for year-long renovation

December 4, 2018

The Southeast Library 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 were looking forward to welcoming residents back to the new space next year.

During the closure, the library also will receive technology upgrades, new HVAC and electrical systems, a new fire alarm system along with other safety and security enhancements, and site improvements to address leaking and drainage issues.

The building was designed by master 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 buildings history while supporting contemporary library service, library officials said.

Patrons will be directed to the Northeast Library at 2200 Central Avenue NE. and the Central Library at 300 Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, and the St. Anthony Library at 2941 NE. Pentagon Drive during Southeasts closure.

Library officials say Southeast will reopen in late 2019.

Tim Harlow 612-673-7768

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