Council approves Walker Library task force

The Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a resolution July 16 creating a task force to evaluate the feasibility of replacing the current Walker Library with a mixed-use facility.

Uptown's Walker, 2880 Hennepin Ave. S., has been the subject of ongoing debate among Councilmembers and Library Board trustees over whether the subterranean building's leaking roof/parking lot should be repaired or whether the building should be replaced.

Councilmember Dan Niziolek (10th Ward) led a Council move to reject the Library Board's decision to repair the roof/deck and force the Board to reconsider mixed-use alternatives it had discarded.

Niziolek has said an above-ground library in Uptown would enhance the neighborhood's vitality.

Library Board President Gregory Gray, who will head the task force with Mayor R.T. Rybak, said he's determined that the task force complete its evaluations by the March 31, 2005 deadline. He said that if the task force doesn't find a viable alternative to the current building, the roof could still be fixed next summer.

"We don't want to have to put off the repairs for another year because of delays," Gray said.