Coventry PEACE Campus Project

Updates

On Friday, October 16, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library signed a new lease with Coventry PEACE, Inc.,  the nonprofit tenant of the former Coventry School building, which is owned by the Library. The original term of the lease is effective October 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021. Coventry PEACE will have the option to renew the lease for a nine-year term, and nine subsequent 10-year Option Terms, for up to a combined total of 99 years. Read more.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library has reached an agreement with its Coventry school building tenant, Coventry Peace Inc. (CPC).

On Monday, August 31, CPC President Deanna Bremer Fisher, signed a letter of intent created by Heights Libraries that outlines the primary business terms and conditions under which the Library will lease the building to the CPC. The details of a new lease will be worked out over the next few weeks, and must be signed by the CPC by September 30.

The lease will begin October 1, 2020, and be good for one year, at which time it may be converted to a longer-term lease, provided the tenants are in good standing and have fulfilled the lease requirements.

Beginning October 1, the tenants will pay $500 per month in rent in addition to paying for its own insurance and real estate taxes. It will also pay $12,000 a month for utilities.

Heights Libraries and Coventry PEACE Campus continue to negotiate lease terms. The current pandemic has posed additional challenges, and negotiations are taking longer than both organizations anticipated, but both hope that they will be able to agree on a workable solution for all stakeholders involved in the near future. 

At the July 20 Board of Trustees meeting, Director Nancy Levin shared a financial summary from IFF, the nonprofit real estate company hired to do an assessment of the Coventry Peace Campus for the purpose of creating a model for the tenants to operate the building. Read more.

On June 30, the leases for the tenants of the Coventry School building at the Coventry PEACE Campus expired with no agreement in place to move forward. The landlord, Heights Libraries, has agreed to extend the leases on a month-to-month basis while it continues attempts to negotiate a new lease with the tenants’ governing body, Coventry PEACE, Inc. Read more.


Click to view our Infographic

This past summer, Heights Libraries surveyed the community to gather public input about the Coventry PEACE Campus. The short survey covered topics like safety, sustainability, parking, the playground, and possible improvements to the park. One thing is very clear: our community loves the PEACE Park! Here are the results; 702 of you responded–thank you for taking the time to express your opinions about this public space.

Would you like to help enhance the welcoming atmosphere at Coventry PEACE Park?

You may by purchasing a 6-foot-long park bench. We have identified ten places where benches can be added to replace deteriorating seating or add seating in the park.

The new benches are made of recycled plastic and have a 50 year warranty. If you would like more information contact Nancy Levin at nlevin@heightslibrary.org.

Heights Libraries is surveying the community to gather public input about the Coventry PEACE Campus. The short survey covers topics like safety, sustainability, parking, the playground, and possible improvements to the park. It also encourages community members to write in their own ideas with a variety of open-ended questions.

Take the survey.

The survey is also available on paper at the Library’s Coventry branch. Results will be published in the fall.

The Library is in the process of forming a committee to plan the programming, facilities and future uses of the park. The committee will include representatives from the city, the building’s tenants, PEACE Park representatives, citizens, and Library representatives, and will be involved in creating a master plan and fundraising for Park improvements.

This summer building tenants signed leases with a base rent of $3.50 a square foot and added fees for shared amenities such as wifi and security systems. They have agreed to fund a reserve for the added maintenance and repairs of the building. The Library reports on the expenses and revenues associated with the building every month at their regular board meetings.

On Wednesday, March 29, at the Heights Libraries’ Lee Road branch, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District transferred the title for the Coventry PEACE Campus to Heights Libraries. Find out more.

On February 5, 2018, at a special public board meeting, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees voted to authorize the library’s purchase of the Coventry PEACE Campus from the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District. The title will be transferred to the library on March 31. The library will pay one dollar for the six-acre property, which includes the former Coventry Elementary School, a playground, parking lot, and adjoining green space. Ohio Revised Code allows school districts to transfer property titles to libraries in their communities.

The Coventry PEACE Campus abuts the library’s two-acre property at the corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard, which includes its Coventry branch.

The CHUH School Board confirmed the sale at its February 20 meeting. Before purchasing the property, the library will perform its due diligence, conducting a title search, a land survey, and an environmental study.


Why did Heights Libraries take on the Coventry project?

  • This is public land that should not be put into private hands. The western parcel was donated in 1917 by Grant Deming for “public, educational use.” The other portion, where the former Coventry school now sits, was later purchased by the school district.
  • The property also provides the only free public parking for the library’s Coventry branch patrons.
  • The decision preserves the park which is used widely by a wide variety of citizens. Many of these people also use the library.
  • The Coventry Branch Library is an historic building in an historic district. The park is part of that district.
  • The Library also hopes to be a tenant and use the building possibly as a classroom, meeting room space and a number of other ideas are brewing including some culinary programs.


How will the building maintenance be paid for?

  • The tenants will all be paying rent, ultimately $3 a square foot. They will pay their utilities and create a reserve fund for any future repairs. The one tenant that has not been paying rent is relocating. Within two years the tenants will run the building on their own.
  • The Library’s finance office has created a special fund to keep Coventry School expenses separate from Library expenses.

Media Coverage

Cleveland.com/Sun Press
Still no PEACE in sight as Heights Library Board rejects counter-offer from Coventry school tenants

Cleveland.com/Sun Press
Heights Library Board weighs public comments on future of Coventry PEACE Campus

Heights Patch
Coventry PEACE Building Negotiations Stalled, Tenants Say

Cleveland.com/Sun Press
No PEACE yet in the former Coventry school as two-year lease with Heights Libraries expires

Heights Patch
Coventry PEACE Building Could Be Demolished

Cleveland.com/Sun Press
CH-UH school board OKs sale of Coventry school, PEACE Park to Heights Libraries

Cleveland.com/Sun Press
CH-UH Library Board votes to buy Coventry school and PEACE campus

WCPN Ideastream
Library and School Board May Save Cleveland Heights Coventry PEACE Campus

Cleveland Scene
Coventry PEACE Campus Sold to Library, Is Staying Put

Freshwater Cleveland
Heights Libraries decides to give Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus a chance