Library breaks ground on Coventry branch renovations

Board members and staff broke ground on renovations at the Coventry branch on Janaury 5. From left to right: Board member Tyler McTigue, Board President Gabe Crenshaw, Board member Dana Fluellen, Director Nancy Levin, Fiscal Officer Debbie Herrmann, Buildings Manager Tim Pasbrig, Coventry Branch Manager Maggie Kinney

On Wednesday, January 5, Heights Libraries, the Albert M. Higley Company, and Robert P. Madison International, Inc., broke ground on a $1.7 million renovation project at the Library’s Coventry branch. The renovation is a Building and Repair Fund expense that will cover interior renovations to the basement, first floor, and the staff office, and installation of a new HVAC system in the nearly 100-year-old building.

Albert M. Higley Construction, a Cleveland-based construction company, was awarded the design build contract for the renovations by the Library board in July 2021. 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 Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “Our basement will be turned into a large, multipurpose meeting room with AV technology, and a new makerspace.”

The Coventry branch’s basement/ground floor space will be turned into a meeting room and maker space. From left to right: Coventry Branch Manager Maggie Kinney, Director Nancy Levin, Board Member Dana Fluellen, Robert P. Madison Inc. Architect Chris Ford, Albert M. Higley Co. Project Manager Rob Garuccio, Albert M. Higley Co. Project Engineer Sahithi Maganti

These expanded spaces will allow staff at the Coventry branch to offer a wider variety of free public programs that will 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 Coventry Branch Manager Maggie Kinney. “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.”

Kinney continued, “We’re also really looking forward to being able to support the community with innovative programming in the makerspace. 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 2022.

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