Inver Glen Library gets approval for expansion

This rendering depicts how Inver Glen Library is expected to look from the northeast side of the building after a 4,400 square-foot expansion is completed next summer. (submitted graphic)

Inver Grove Heights bookworms have something to look forward to besides the latest installment in a favorite series.

The Inver Glen Library in Inver Grove Heights is planning an expansion that will increase the size of the library by one third, adding meeting rooms and more quiet corners for readers to curl up in. The plans have been in talks for the past three years, but cleared a final hurdle July 22 when they received approval from the Inver Grove Heights City Council.

The expansions, set to be completed by next summer, will add 2,200-square-foot wings to the east and west side of the building for a total of 4,400 square feet of new space. Originally built in 2000, the 12,500 square-foot Inver Glen is currently the smallest library in the Dakota County system.

The highlight of the addition is a public meeting room with a capacity of up to 80 people. The room will be available for public reservations to provide clubs and committees with meeting space, and will also be used for programs offered by Dakota County and the library. The rest of the renovations will include additional seating space and reading rooms.

Along with the building expansion, the site plan also calls for 25 additional parking spaces in the library lot, raising the total capacity from 58 vehicles to 87 to meet an anticipated increase in usage. The new parking lot designs will also include rain gardens to handle more storm water runoff.

‘A tremendous facility’

The Dakota County Board identified the need for expansion at Inver Glen in a long-range plan laid out in 2010, but didn’t include the project in the county’s five-year comprehensive improvement plan. Inclusion in the CIP is the first step in obtaining funding for a particular project and usually sets the priorities for the next several years.

However, Nancy Schouweiler, a county commissioner and Inver Grove Heights resident, told the Inver Grove Heights City Council in its June 3 workshop session the county had moved up the Inver Glen project after listening to further concerns about inadequate space and reviewing population projections for the city.

The city council reviewed the final site plan for the expansion in its July 22 regular meeting. Several council members praised the designs as a much-needed improvement.

“We’re excited about the improvements to Inver Glen,” Mayor George Tourville said. “It’s a tremendous facility for Inver Grove Heights.”

Luke Reiter can be reached at or at 651-748-7815.

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