Heights Libraries purchases Noble Road Presbyterian Church
The Heights Libraries Board of Trustees has approved the library’s purchase of the Noble Road Presbyterian Church building and surrounding 1.3 acres of property, at 2780 Kirkwood Road in Cleveland Heights. The church is located next to the Noble Neighborhood branch of Heights Libraries.
The library board voted on the purchase on March 15, at its regular meeting, and the Noble Road Presbyterian Church board approved the sale at its own board meeting on March 22.
The $315,000 property purchase will enable Heights Libraries to expand the Noble branch building, to broaden the services it offers to the surrounding community. Heights Libraries has already budgeted funds for the work, and will not need to assess any extra taxes or bonds to renovate the branch.
“We have noticed over the past 10 years that the building feels more crowded than ever, and the needs of the community have changed and grown,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “And this perception of ours is backed up by a recent community survey about the building.”
In January and February, Heights Libraries surveyed the community about the building and its services, asking residents to weigh in about their likes and dislikes, and what they thought could be improved. The survey received nearly 500 responses, with roughly 72 percent of respondents indicating the building needs more room.
Heights Libraries is meeting with the public, via Zoom, to present the survey results and gather residents’ concerns and suggestions about the branch. One meeting already took place, on March 8. The next is scheduled for Wednesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. Registration is available at www.heightslibrary.org.
After compiling and assessing community feedback from the Zoom meetings and surveys, the library plans to conduct a visioning and pre-architectural study lasting several months, tentatively planned to start in April. It will then give the community a chance to offer feedback on possible renovation plans, both online and via a display in the Noble branch, most likely in the summer or early fall.
“We want to make sure the community has a voice in the planning process at every phase,“ said Levin. “We continue to be dedicated to serving the Noble community and look forward to providing the best library possible.”
“We are very excited that our beloved building will continue to be a space for the community to learn, live, and grow together,” said Meredith White, pastor of Noble Road Presbyterian Church. “We have partnered with our neighbors, both the school and the library, throughout the years, and believe the sale of our property marks a new phase in that relationship.
"We will continue to be a congregation and are exploring what it means for us to be a church in the world without a building. We are honored to have been a part of the Noble Neighborhood, and we look forward to seeing what the future has in store for all of us.”
Heights Libraries will add regular updates about the Noble Neighborhood Branch Renovation project to its website, www.heightslibrary.org, as information develops.
Sheryl Banks is the communications manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.