Library breaks ground on Coventry renovation
On Wednesday, Jan. 5, Heights Libraries, the Albert M. Higley Company, and Robert P. Madison International Inc., broke ground on a $1.7 million renovation project at Heights Libraries' Coventry branch. The renovation will cover interior renovations to the basement and the staff office, and installation of a new HVAC system in the nearly 100-year-old building.
Higley, a Cleveland-based construction company, was awarded the design build contract for the renovations by the library board last July. Since then, Higley has been working with Robert P. Madison International Inc., a minority-owned, Cleveland-based architecture firm, to design the building’s renovations. Higley has already completed some asbestos abatement, and replaced some plumbing to avoid flooding during heavy rains.
“These updates will expand the services we can provide in the Coventry neighborhood,” said Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director. “Our basement will be turned into a large, multipurpose meeting room with AV technology and a new makerspace.”
These expanded spaces will allow staff at the Coventry branch to offer a wider variety of free public programs to enrich the lives of children and adults in the Heights community, and allow local groups additional options for their own meetings. Additionally, the ground-level rooms will make outdoor programming in the library’s PEACE Park more convenient.
Other renovations will include a new main-floor restroom, a lactation room, a new elevator, and electrical upgrades.
“My staff and I can’t wait to welcome the community into these new spaces,” said Maggie Kinney, the Coventry branch manager. “Having a large meeting room on the lower level and a restroom on the main floor will support our accessibility initiatives, which can be tricky in an almost 100-year-old building.”
“We're also really looking forward to being able to support the community with innovative programming in the makerspace," Kinney continued. "We're already thinking about what we can accomplish with life-skills programs such as cooking, living healthy lifestyles, sewing, going green, and financial wellness. We're really looking forward to partnering with local organizations and experts to bring this to life!”
The branch will remain open during renovations, which are scheduled to be completed in July.
Sheryl Banks is the communications manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.