At its May 17 meeting, the Heights Libraries Board of Trustees approved a resolution to advertise for Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) for design-build services to upgrade and remodel select areas of the Coventry Village branch building.
The building’s upgrades will include a more efficient and effective HVAC system and elevator; the remodeling aspects of the RFQ include building ADA-compliant public restrooms on the first floor and public meeting rooms in what is now the basement. The total investment will be about $1.2 million.
The RFQ ad will run in the Plain Dealer starting June 4, and qualification submissions will be due June 25.
“Coventry is our oldest building, dating from 1926, and it has undergone many renovations and improvements over the years as we adapted to the changing needs of our community,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “And, as with any older building, we need to keep up to date with accessibility and safety.”
Since 2015, Heights Libraries has spent $1,063,775 in necessary upgrades, repairs, and land improvements for the Coventry branch. Some of the more significant projects were improvement of the retaining wall and gardens; parking lot upgrades, including better lighting; new lighting surrounding the building for safety; new furniture and shelving; the creation of a designated children’s area; new carpeting; new concrete walkways and pads for benches; and waterproofing, roof and drain work.
In addition to keeping the Coventry branch building up to date and in good shape, Heights Libraries is also taking steps to ensure that the Heights Libraries PEACE Park remains an accessible public resource for the community.
The Library has contracted with landscape architects Andrew Sargeant and Jim McKnight, at $9,000 each, to prepare sketches and develop an overall plan for the property, including cost estimates. They will also coordinate and gather public input about the park through public meetings. The park design could include an accessible playground, a walking storybook loop, an amphitheater, and outdoor seating areas. Fundraising for this project will be needed before any construction can begin, and will be handled by the nonprofit Fund for the Future of Heights Libraries.
The updates to the Coventry building are part of an overall revitalization of the Library’s spaces, which includes an upcoming renovation and expansion of the Noble Neighborhood branch. The Library purchased the neighboring Noble Road Presbyterian Church building and property in preparation for the project.
“We are committed to ensuring that each branch building can serve its surrounding neighborhoods and help them thrive,” said Levin.