CCPL Executive Director: “It is Our Intention to Replace Bay Library”

Cuyahoga County Public Library Executive Director Sari Feldman reports that conversations with Bay Village residents and an online survey demonstrate a need to build a new library in the community.CuyahogaLibrary

“It is our intention to replace Bay Village, and Middleburg Hts.,” she said in her opening remarks at a meeting with the Cleveland Metroparks on March 24.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a partnership plan with the Metroparks that would see a new Bay Village Branch of the Cuyahoga Public Library system constructed within Huntington Reservation.

“Bay Village, Berea and Middleburg Hts. are the three branches in the Cuyahoga County Library system that have not seen improvements in more than a decade,” reported Feldman. “It is our intention to replace Bay Village and Middleburg Hts.”

“We have been in conversation with the Cleveland Metroparks about the possibility of a collaboration,” she says. Metroparks officials called the meeting a ‘conversation’ at the community and board level.

Work Session - Huntington_FEAT

A preliminary look at a new Bay Library in Huntington Metropark shows a potential building location across from the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center plus a relocation of the Wolf Road entry drive.

Here is a recording of the meeting:

Feldman said the Library has partnered with other public entities where land is available to build new library resources in the county.

“Today, where there is very little available land for a project like this, this unique opportunity to partner and collaborate is one that we are really pleased to talk about,” says Feldman.

Feldman reports that $110 million have been invested in capital improvements across the Library system since 2010, with 9 branches replaced and 9 renovated out of the system’s 27 total branches. The Library Board of Trustees has set aside funding for branch projects in Bay, Berea and Middleburg Heights and would likely also leverage private donations.

Co-locations of community assets and community conveniences is how the Library identifies potential sites like Huntington.

“We’ve done some conversation with Bay Village residents in recent years at local open events and we did an official online survey,” says Feldman of the decision to pursue a branch replacement. 325 out of 574 respondents to the survey  said a new branch in Bay Village is a good idea.

Libraries today, she adds, are less about what they have for people and more about what they do for people in terms of technology centers, community gathering places and facilities for students and home based businesses.

The Library-Metroparks discussion has grown on the community facebook site, Secret Bay Village. One contributor has included a survey of his own, drawing 182 voters against moving the Bay Village Library from its current location to Huntington Reservation to 29 in favor.

“I feel maybe updating the resources available inside the library would be a useful allocation of funds. Building a new one is an unnecessary cost and tearing up Huntington Park to do it is just ridiculous,” says one reader.

Bay Branch Facilities Assessment

In 2009, the Library conducted an assessments and facilities study that included three options for the Bay Branch: A renovation costing $995,000, a renovation and expansion at the current site costing $2.3 million and a replacement costing $7.8 million. Library officials say, however, that this assessment was not used in the current 18-library overhaul.

Here is a link to an assessment of the existing Bay Library:

The existing Bay Library is 15,806 square feet in size.

The proposed 2009 addition of a possible expansion would add 4,194 square feet and bring the Library’s square footage up to 20,000 – same as a new library in the assessment study.

Library Survey

CCPL Communications and External Relations Director Hallie Rich has forwarded to The Villager the email that was sent to Bay cardholders with a link to the survey (now closed) from January. 

“The message explains that we are interested in learning about the programs and services that are most important to cardholders so we can make informed decisions about future branch opportunities,” she reports of the survey cover letter.

“Further, the message explains that a project in Bay is separate from CCPL’s Facilities Master Plan (FMP). The Library’s FMP is concluding with the final renovation project this month. The facilities assessment document that you pulled from the website informed the FMP and helped the Library determine which branches would be ‘priority projects’ in the capital improvement program. Now that we’re winding down the program, we’re looking at the three branches that have gone untouched – Bay, Berea and Middleburg Heights – to determine how we might address capital needs based on the community’s service priorities.”

The email survey cover letter says the Huntington Playhouse site is not part of the opportunity.

While the Bay Village Branch was not one of the 18 priority projects included in the Facilities Master Plan, CCPL recently learned of a unique opportunity that warrants further explanation (Please Note, the opportunity is not on the Huntington Playhouse site). To that end, we would like to know about the library programs and services that are most important to you,” says the letter.

Survey story here:

About Bay Library

The Bay Library building is owned by the Cuyahoga County Public Library. It sits on a parcel owned by the City of Bay Village under a land-lease agreement.

Public library service began in Bay Village in May of 1921, when Dover-by-the-Lake Library opened in the former Cahoon family home.

Provision for the library was made in the will of Ida Cahoon, granddaughter of Bay Village founder Joseph Cahoon. Ida was a forward-looking and civic-minded lady, donating her family’s private library, as well as her home and farm land, for the good of the community.

Dover-by-the-Lake Library became part of Cuyahoga County Public Library in 1949.

By the late 1950s, the city’s population had grown to 13,000, and a new library was built at the corner of Wolf and Dover Center Road. Twenty years later, the city had again outgrown the library. The present facility opened at Cahoon and West Oakland in April, 1981. The design received an award from the American Institute of Architects/Architects Society of Ohio in the fall of 1981. Extensive remodeling and renovation was completed in 1997. Today the building houses over 100,000 items.

Public Meetings

Residents interested in the potential move of the Library to Huntington Reservation may be interested in attending Metroparks and/or Library Board meetings.

The next Metroparks meeting is April 21 at 8 a.m. at  Cleveland Metroparks Administrative Offices in the Rzepka Board Room located at 4101 Fulton Parkway, Cleveland, Ohio 44144. Meetings link here:

The Library next Library meeting is April 26. Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Board of Trustees meets eleven times a year, generally on the fourth Tuesday of each month. All meetings are open to the public. Meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. in Conference Room A/B of the Library’s Parma-Snow Branch. Meeting info here: There is also a committe meeting open to the public on April 19.

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