Orange Schools, Cuyahoga County Public Library Form Partnership
Orange City School District and the Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) System have announced a partnership to improve library services to the communities of Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange Village, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere Village.
This collaborative effort is part of the library system’s county-wide Facilities Master Plan, which includes building a new 15,000 square foot Orange Branch library near the Orange Senior Center. The design phase will begin later this year with community meetings to identify key features that residents want to see in a new library building. Cuyahoga County Public Library plans to break ground on the new building in 2013 with the new branch grand opening to follow in 2014. There will be no new taxes needed for this project.
The new Orange Branch is a priority project that must be addressed in order to continue to provide excellent library services to the five communities while reducing operating costs. The CCPL will ask the community for input about specific expectations and needs. This new branch will serve the residents of the Orange School District communities with new features such as a drive-up window, ample meeting space, small group rooms, interactive early childhood area, additional public computers, excellent selection of materials, and state-of-the-art technology. It will also collaborate with the Orange Senior Center, which is run by the Orange Community Education and Recreation department of the Orange Schools.
According to Cuyahoga County Public Library Executive Director Sari Feldman, “We are incredibly excited to be able to truly fulfill our mission to be at the center of community life by providing an environment where reading, lifelong learning and civic engagement thrive.”
The Orange Schools Board of Education worked with CCPL to identify a suitable location for the new branch. The Board of Education has agreed to provide a site next to the existing Orange Senior Center. Its proximity to the schools will enhance the services the library provides students and the communities at-large. This site would revert back to the Orange Schools should CCPL ever cease to provide library service in the new location.
"Integrating the new Orange Branch of the library into the Orange Schools campus will increase the opportunities for all of us to experience, explore and learn in a facility designed for 21st Century living,” said Dr. Nancy Wingenbach, Superintendent of Orange Schools. “Our partnership with the library system has already enriched the community by allowing us to envision a place that reaches forward and embraces multiple new services while incorporating the best of the past."
The CCPL adopted their Facilities Master Plan in 2010. It is the largest building improvement program in its history. The Plan consists of building and renovation projects throughout the county library system. The goals of the Plan are to ensure the Library’s financial stability into the future; to reduce operating costs through efficient building design; to create centers of excellence; and to establish equity of service throughout the system.
The Orange Schools Board of Education owns the current Orange Branch location. This building no longer supports today’s library needs, and renovation options are limited because of the building design and location. The Orange School District is currently reviewing facility needs and will independently assess future use of this location. As a result of this process, the Board and the CCPL have formed a strong community partnership.