The Hennepin County Board voted unanimously to accept the Schematic Design Report for the new Walker Library on November 29, 2011. Included in Hennepin County Board Action Request (BAR) 11-0489 was approval of the schematic design for the new Walker Library and contract approval for Phase II architectural and engineering services to complete the project. The County Administrator was authorized to file an application with the City of Minneapolis to vacate an unopened alley located along the west property line of the project site. Vacating the unopened alley will provide site plan and design flexibility, which will enable the project to realize necessary economies for the development of the site.
Approval of the schematic design moves the project into the design development phase. During this phase, the design will be refined further to include identification of materials, equipment and furnishings. The Walker Library Community Advisory Committee will meet in February for a project update and to discuss the designs for the children's, teen and reading room areas.
In a related action, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board passed Resolution 2011-202 on November 22, 2011, to approve the concept design for the Mall update by Close Associates. Funds to implement the concept design have not been identified. Preliminary cost estimates indicate that the project could cost $1.6 million. Accepting the design will allow the Park Board and the community to have further discussion on potential funding options for the improvements.
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