Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 5-15-23

MAY 15, 2023


  • Board actions
  • Noble construction
  • PEACE Park
  • Personnel report
  • Director’s report
  • Public service report


Present were President Max Gerboc, Vice President Vikas Turakhia, Secretary Annette Iwamoto, Patti Carlyle, Dana Fluellen, Tyler McTigue, and Melissa Soto-Schwartz. The meeting lasted 80 minutes.

Board actions

The board:

  • Approved a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) contract with Independence Construction for the renovations and addition to the Noble Neighborhood Branch. An additional $8,756,892 was encumbered. If a grant is obtained by the City of Cleveland Heights, $63,541 will be used for an electric vehicle charging station. The total contract with Independence Construction is $9,696,436.
  • Approved the 2024 county tax budget.
  • Approved technology fund purchases of 85 personal computers for staff and public use.
  • Approved 2023 amended permanent appropriation.
  • Approved a design fee for Bostwick Partnership for additional design work for the Noble Neighborhood Branch renovation and addition. 
  • Authorized the director or fiscal officer to approve change orders in spending from the construction manager's contingency, provided they are recommended by the architect and the owner's representative and are within the guaranteed maximum price for the Noble Neighborhood Branch renovations and addition project.

Noble construction 

Some construction has begun on Noble branch, including removing black mold, demolishing the lower level, clearing outside, and installing a site fence.


The Cleveland Heights Planning Commission approved PEACE Park renovation plans. Additional information about the sidewalk, tree, and lighting plans will be submitted prior to construction. The library board will be advertising for proposals for a construction manager. An open house will take place August 10 to share park plans with the public. Construction will begin at the end of September. The park will be closed until late May 2024.

Personnel report

Randy Brown, who has nine years of experience at the Wood County Historical Center and six years of public library experience, will fill the full-time local history library position. 

The library is currently advertising for the staff training and development coordinator. 

A Heights High senior student is participating in a three-week library experience. The purpose of this program is to provide a general orientation to the library, acquaint participants to library jobs, and teach them about the value of libraries in general. 

Director’s report

The Friends Mega Sale will be held June 2-4.

Noble Branch groundbreaking will be May 16, at 5:30 p.m. The Noble Branch surplus sale earned $1200. The sale was organized by Debbie Herrman and Kim Austin. Tim Pasbrig, Leroy Hamby, Matt Mancini, Matt Hoffman, Constance Dickerson, and the entire Noble staff should be commended for their hard work and organizational skills required to pack up the branch and weed the collection. At Lee Road, Chuck Collins, Jenny Groh, Rob Hisnay, Karen Sheck, and Doreen Bamanya-Mafigiri have worked hard to complete the weeding process, organize space for returns from Noble, and solve system issues. Kim De Nero-Ackroyd, Deputy Director, helped all over the system. 

Staff health insurance for the coming year is being reviewed and negotiated.

Library Giving Day on April 04 yielded $7800 in donations to support Coventry Peace Park renovations. 

The library was represented on the 2023 Future Heights Crowdsourced Conversations sub-committee. The first conversation took place on April 26 at Heights High and focused on our public schools. The next conversation will focus on re-thinking our roads as community space.

Planning for the Summer Reading Program is nearing completion. The Kick-off will be at Coventry PEACE Park on Wednesday, June 7, 6-8 p.m. The kick-off will include live performances and activities from local organizations.

The state budget is under review and being monitored for funding for public libraries. People are encouraged to write their state senators to express how important library funding is.

Public service

Adult Services Librarian John Piche interviewed Ayesha Bell Hardaway, Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Director of the Criminal Clinic in the Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic, on her article, “The Rise of Police Unions on the Back of the Black Freedom Movement”. The interview can be viewed at hppts://

The Coventry Village Author series featured author John Grabowski, CWRU professor of history, and photographer Lauren Pacini, who spoke about their book, Cleveland’s Cultural Gardens: A Landscape of Diversity.

While the Noble Neighborhood Branch is closed, programming will continue at several outreach locations including Disciples Christian Church, Right Start Church, Cleveland Heights Senior Center, Dennison Park, and the Church on the Heights.

Boy Scout Nathanial Tisch chose to plant trees at the University Heights Branch as his Eagle Scout project. Along with fellow Boy Scouts he planted five trees on the property.

Holden Arboretum’s Tree Tale Tellers visited the library to celebrate Earth Day.

The next regular board meetings will be June 26, 6:30 p.m. at the Lee Road Library. There will be a special meeting of the board on June 5 at the Lee Road Library. Check the website for exact time.

LWV Observers: Elizabeth Tracy and Judith Beeler.

Information about the board, board meeting minutes and audio recordings of board meetings can be found at

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 11:56 AM, 06.12.2023