Redesign Project

Library Redesign Project

In June of 2016, the library contracted with LSE Architects of Minneapolis to conduct a space study/mechanical needs assessment of our current site. KFI Engineering was responsible for assessing the building systems (heating, cooling, electrical, etc.), while LSE staff focused on workflow, public needs/uses of the building, technology improvements, etc.

The library was originally built in 1927; in 1964, the library was expanded to provide better service to the community. After retiring the bookmobile, the bookmobile garage was converted into a meeting room in 1999. The current library is approximately 11,800 square feet.

Libraries are increasingly becoming community gathering places for programs, quiet study, lively discussions, and interactive learning. Some issues regarding our current building concern lack of parking, difficult sightlines for staff with four distinct levels, confusion about the library’s entrance, no performance space/large meeting area, no smaller private study rooms, and meager workroom space.

Library staff provided input regarding their work areas, and the public responded to print and online surveys regarding current library services. The study was completed in December 2016 with a recommendation to remodel the 1927 original library while creating a new addition with underground parking, enlarging our current footprint to 17,000 square feet. This concept would alter the current four-level library to two levels, bring the library up to code (mechanically, electrically, ADA, etc.), provide private study areas as well as larger community rooms with current technology, move the teen area up to the second level, and provide staff and patrons with improved sightlines throughout the building. The initial cost estimate for this remodel is $4,494,320. The Library Board approves this recommendation but is also open to further study of various designs and potential collaboration with other agencies.

This is but one possible vision for the library. More reflection, public input and assessment will follow this initial proposal. The full study, as well as a handout (PDF) with features of this proposed renovation, is available for viewing at the library.

Rendering of a possible renovated exterior of the library site

Rendering of a possible renovated exterior of the library site by LSE Architects

Library Survey

We value your input! The library is conducting a short survey regarding current services.


"South St. Paul’s ‘Old-time Library’ Has Charm, But Not a Lot of Space" - Pioneer Press, 12/11/16.

"Study Recommends $4.5M Expansion, Upgrades to South St. Paul Library"
- Pioneer Press, 2/2/17.