County board approves funding for next phase of Westonka Library project

General site concept showing relationship between surrounding natural environment and new Westonka Library building.

General site concept showing relationship between surrounding natural environment and new Westonka Library building. Note: building design and floorplan are in draft form and may change before construction begins.

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved the second phase of funding for the Westonka Library project November 2. The next phase of the project will include architectural design by Gensler. In this phase, materials, systems, and equipment will be determined and the design will begin to represent the completed building.

The main components of the library will be the collection, two study rooms, a video conference room, flexible teen and children’s areas, a meeting room, staff workrooms, accessible entrance and restrooms, interior and exterior book returns, parking, and site improvements. The project is expected to begin in late 2024 and will likely take 15 months to complete.


The new Westonka Library is being designed with sustainability at the forefront. The building will be net-zero, meaning that it will produce 100 percent (or more) of the energy it consumes through renewable energy sources generated on site. Net-zero status will be achieved through use of geothermal and solar energy. Additionally, to reduce impact to the environment during the project, as much as 75 percent of the existing building – including the wood beams from the original structure – will be reused, recycled, and kept out of landfills.

Site design

The placement of the library within the landscape provides an opportunity for the building to complement, not overshadow, its environment. Landscaping at Westonka Library will be welcoming and inclusive. While protecting existing large trees, landscaping will be enhanced with native plants and nature paths designed for accessibility. The landscaping will highlight the importance of water and stormwater management and provide a learning opportunity for library patrons. The county has contracted Ten x Ten for landscape architecture work.

Community engagement

Community input is critical to this project. Hennepin County Library plans to engage the public throughout the project, with the next meeting expected within the first few months of 2024.

Project updates

Interested in receiving future updates on the project? Subscribe to the Westonka Library updates email list or visit the Westonka Library building project page.