Sari Feldman, Executive Director Cuyahoga County Public Library, appeared before Bay Village City Council Monday to detail plans for a new Bay Village Branch to be built on the site of Bay Way Cabin in Cahoon Park.
Feldman was enthusiastic about the plans, saying the $7.5 million investment will improve and enrich the community.
“We know that libraries create a center for community life, a place where people of different ages and different backgrounds come together for shared experiences and also for individual learning. We want that to happen here in Bay Village,” said Feldman.
“(Bay Village Branch Manager) Jessica (Breslin) is the most wonderful branch manager and she is struggling to meet the needs of the residents of this community,” said Feldman of the current branch on Cahoon Road.
“When she tells me that 80 kids come over from the Middle School every day, we can’t possibly be satisfying them in that space. We want to create a space that serves young families, Middle Schoolers, adults – where they can be together and yet all be experiencing their own age-appropriate activities.”
Highlights of Feldman’s review of planning:
- Bay is one of three branches that had not seen a major update in 15 years. The others, Berea and Middleburg Hts., have been already been implemented leaving Bay as the only branch in the 27-library system left to update.
- Initial discussions to locate in Huntington Reservation near the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center did not prove viable.
- A survey of Bay library card holders indicated a new building was a good idea.
- $2.7 million would be needed to repair and upgrade the existing building.
- About a year ago, the potential for putting a new library in the heart of the city emerged, at the site of the Bay Way Cabin. “This location has the benefit of connecting the library with the center of the city’s life. We were really excited about that,” said Feldman. It also fits with Bay’s Master Plan Interconnectivity concept.
- The Cahoon Park Trustees (City Council) sent a formal proposal to the Library last year. The City also received Probate approval for the idea.
- The Design Stage has commenced. “We look forward to presenting designs to the Cahoon Park Trustees in the very near future,” said Feldman.
- Groundbreaking is projected for summer, 2018. “We would expect to cut a ribbon in the spring or summer of 2019.”
- $7.5 million in capital funding has been committed by the Library system. It will cover design, construction, all furnishings and equipment.
“All of our existing 19 building replacement and renovations that we’ve done over the past five years have been completed on time and under budget,” said Feldman. “We’re very hopeful that this body, the Cahoon Park Trustees, can help us move this forward at a steady pace so that we will not have any delays. The (library) board is concerned about any additional costs that may be incurred if there are delays.”
Ms. Feldman was accompanied by Board Vice President Patricia A. Shlonsky, and Bay Village Branch Manager Jessica Breslin.
See the video of her presentation below: