Community Breaks Ground of Extension of Cloquet Library

7,000 foot expansion costs roughly $2 million.

CLOQUET, Minn.- On Friday ground was broken on a major expansion to the Cloquet Public Library, which should be completed next summer.

This 7,000 foot library extension is 10 years in the making but after getting a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education last fall, the plans are now becoming a reality.

The library expansion is expected to cost a total of about $2 million.

The Public Library Construction Grant paid for $784,000 of that cost. Plus, the Library Foundation gave about $275,000.

According to library officials, it’ll help make the library more of a community center.

“I think it’s going to be a great benefit to our community,” said Beth Sorenson, Director of the Library.

“There’s a lot of talk about libraries becoming obsolete because of the internet but that hasn’t been the case and libraries are adapting all the time to the needs of the community, so we’re here to stay.”

The extension includes a new children’s room, a meeting room, a new teaching kitchen, and a teen room for the growing number of teens who hang around the library grounds.

“It’s definitely needed,” said Bella Zago, volunteer at the Library, and a teen herself.  “While the Library is a great place for kids to go, they are loud.”

One part of the expansion is catching Zago’s eye.

“I’m actually looking forward to the new teaching kitchen. ‘Cause it’s something all kids need to learn,” she said. “I’m looking forward to college, I’m hoping to get into culinary school.”

The expansion came about after a stud revealed there was a need for more space a the library.

Despite the grant and the Foundation contribution, the library is still looking for individual donations.

Every child that donates a quarter will get to put their name up on the wall in the front of the current building.

This, Sorenson said, is an effort to make funding the extension a community project.

Categories: Community, Education, Minnesota, News, News – Latest News