Structural problems close North Minneapolis library

Hennepin County says it’s closing a north Minneapolis library indefinitely for repairs.

Structural engineers are examining Webber Park Library, 4310 Webber Parkway, after ceiling tiles began falling off a few weeks ago. The braces holding up those ceiling tiles have buckled and one wall of the building is “moving,” according to county director of property services, Judith Hollander. She said the cost of the repairs will likely determine whether the county will keep the library open.

“That’ll be a county board decision,” Hollander said. “It will depend on how extensive the repairs would need to be to re-open it. I mean, they might not decide to re-open it.”

The Webber Park Library was originally part of the Minneapolis library system. When the city and Hennepin County library systems merged, the county assumed responsibility for Webber Park. The county kept the library open three days a week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. County officials planned a new building to replace Webber Library, Hollander said.

“This is just a library that we always knew needed some work over the long term and was ultimately going to be replaced,” she said. “It’s one of those things that happens with buildings every once in a while.”

Hollander said she isn’t sure where the county is in its plans to build a new library.

In a release, Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Higgins said, “We appreciate everyone’s concerns, including the Friends of the Webber Park Library and patrons who are so valuable to this important community asset. We ask that everyone be patient while the engineers are conducting their review.”

The libraries nearest to Webber Park Library are North Regional, 1315 Lowry Ave. N., or Northeast Library, 2200 Central Ave. The county says materials people have put on hold at Webber Park will be available at North Regional.