County looks to expand library locationsWashington County’s southern half is first in line for new library facilities over the next two decades, according to the county’s strategic library facility plan presented to Washington County commissioners last Tuesday.
By: Jon Avise, Woodbury Bulletin
Washington County’s southern half is first in line for new library facilities over the next two decades, according to the county’s strategic library facility plan presented to Washington County commissioners last Tuesday.
An exploding number of residents using the out-of-date Park Grove Branch Library in Cottage Grove has made it the “highest priority” for a new facility in the draft planning document that has yet to receive Washington County Board approval, senior planner Larry Timmerman told commissioners, and Woodbury’s continued growth could necessitate another library within the next decade.
The plan, drawn up by director Patricia Conley and members of the Washington County Library Board, is a blueprint of the changes the library system will undergo over the next two decades.
In it, officials envision a system of four or five large “feeder” libraries in each of four zones — north, including Forest Lake; north central, including Stillwater, Oakdale and Lake Elmo; south central, home to Woodbury’s R.H. Stafford Branch Library, the county’s busiest; and south, including Cottage Grove — and the creation of a number of satellite services using self-service library kiosks.
The south planning zone is most in need of a new facility, library officials said. The Park Grove library is more than 20 years old and, according to the strategic plan, “does not facilitate today’s service needs.”
Population growth in the south planning zone is expected to warrant construction of a new facility by 2016 or 2017, according to county projections. The south central planning zone’s population is projected to reach the same point in