Southdale Library to be rebuilt, reopening in 2021

Simone Vaillancourt, print editor-in-chief

Forty-six years after its initial opening in 1973, Edina’s Southdale Regional Library is preparing to close its doors for a 2020 reconstruction. According to the Hennepin County Library website, the new library will be rebuilt at or near its current location and will include “spaces for both focused and collaborative work, technology to bridge the digital divide, a variety of seating options with access to power sources, ample library materials, and early learning spaces for school readiness.”

According to Hennepin County Facility Services Director Margo Geffen, the City is “exploring location options, and plans to make a location decision by summer 2019,” with a projected project completion date of 2021 or 2022. The City’s two current construction options include rebuilding the library at its current location or working with the Southdale Mall to construct an adjunct building to house the new library.

Students who spend time at the library’s current location may have to find alternate places to study during the construction period. “As of now, I study at the Southdale Library because it’s so close to my house,” senior Andrea Zantek said. “When it closes, I’ll have to look for a new place to study, and I’ll probably have to drive further.”

Though the library will likely be closed for some time, its director, Janet Mills, is confident that students will have sufficient alternatives. “If there is a closed library period, we have a number of other library locations that are close by. We also have our online resources, which allow students to get to databases, receive homework help, and have access to similar resources that they could get when they come into the library,” Mills said.