St. Michael Breaks Ground On New Library

St. Michael Breaks Ground On New Library

A crowd of approximately 80 people gathered for the official groundbreaking of the new public library in St. Michael on Thursday, Nov. 5.

Building, community and library representatives gathered for the informal ceremony on Town Center Drive just off Highway 241, close to the existing library. In the background, big yellow trucks and graders continued to shift earth around on the large construction site.The new library will open in 2010.

The building has a single storey and houses the library, a senior center and city hall. As can be seen on the construction board, the library (on the right side of the building) has large, high windows. The building design allows for expansion of all the users independently. According to planning and zoning commission meeting minutes from Sept. 2, the lot next to the library portion of the building will probably be used as a small park or green space for events until the day comes when the library wishes to expand.

Branch Manager Marla Scherber said the building size is approximately 12,000 sq. ft. This will make it one of the biggest libraries in Great River Regional Library system. She anticipates a dramatic increase in library use once the new building opens. The community is growing. According to a StarTribune story, the district has gained almost 2,000 students over the last decade. The new St. Michael/Albertville High School, just a mile away from the library, has 1,350 students.

As well as St. Michael, the neighboring communities of Hanover and Albertville are contributing to the cost of the library portion of the building. A state grant will also pay $400,000 of the cost.

The current building is named the Roy Simms Community Library. Scherber anticipates that name will change once the new location opens. However, a new name has not yet been selected.