Main Library Renovation

December 13, 2021: A Renovated Main Library Re-Opens

The morning of December 13 was one of celebration and the official unveiling the newly renovated Main Library. Present for the ribbon cutting were Director Amy Switzer, Deputy Director Maureen Brodar, Library Board President Michael Bertsch, and Shaker Heights Mayor David Weiss and 75 invitees. Visitors enjoyed refreshments and tours of the building. Library Director Amy Switzer  thanked the community for its patronage and patience after 18 months of construction in a $10.4 million renovation of the former Moreland Elementary School, made possible through a 1.9-mill levy passed in 2018. Read the Sun Press coverage of the event.

November 8, 2021

The Library Board authorized the closing of the Main Library from November 17 through November 30. From November 3 -16, Turner Construction will complete the items on the punch list. Furniture will be delivered, shelving will be installed, and IT work will also be done during that time. Library staff will be busy re-shelving all the books and getting ready to re-open.

October 11, 2021

Nothing says “Shaker Library” like a “Shaker Reads” sign, which was installed outside Main Library. Workers have been busy modifying the ceilings in the second-floor meeting rooms to match the construction documents and allow for proper installation of the light fixtures. They applied coating on the east side handrail at the main entry and did more patching and coating on the main entry stairs to the east and west of the newly installed handrail. The substantial completion date for Phase 2 of the Main Library renovation is Wednesday October 27. From October 27 through November 2, Bialosky and the library will do the punch list walk-through.

September 16: Main Library Gets A Monumental Staircase

Workers are busy repairing a leak in the dry sprinkler system, remediating mold and replacing new drywall. Work on the soffits continues and ceiling tiles and subflooring are being added to the meeting rooms. The most exciting addition is the installation of the Monumental Staircase.

July 11, 2021: Library Restores Sunday Hours Amid Renovations

The east entrance door needs to be replaced; however the existing framing, transom, and sidelight remains. Library Design Associates (LDA) will furnish, modify and install shelving, end panels, and canopy tops, as well as move and store the shelves during construction.  . . and Main Library resumes regular Sunday hours on July 11.

4/1/2021: Phase 1 Renovation Has Been Competed

The west side of the Main Library building, which includes the lower level and the first floor has been completed. Staff moved the collection to the west side of the building and Phase Two of the Renovation is now in progress. Main Library’s front doors are open. Please come to visit to see what’s new — comfortable seating, a calming color scheme, and a clean, airy, open look. What remains the same is our commitment to serving our community.

March 2021: Getting Ready to Move from the Building’s East Side to the West

Staff packed more books in preparation for the move to the newly-renovated west side of the Main Library building. Workers were busy getting the front entrance ready for customers. In its collaborative work with the Forward Together initiative, officials asked the Library to press pause on the planned renovation of Bertram Woods Branch while consultants continued a facilities assessment. Read more here.

1/25/2021: Phase 1 Renovation Continues

The west side of the first and second floors continue to be renovated and reconfigured. The first phase also includes the installation of new boiler and air handler units, electrical and plumbing work, and exterior restoration work to the main entry façade and vestibule.

12/18/2020: A Little Snow Doesn’t Slow Outdoor Repairs

Work continues on the existing masonry façade.  Additional tuck pointing is being performed adjacent to the windows to confirm that the entire wall assembly is weather tight.   The boilers were installed, inspected and the new boilers and pumps were activated on November 12. Interior framing and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) rough-in are currently in progress.

10/26/2020: Drains, Windows, and Boilers Are the Current Focus

The renovation is on schedule for substantial completion at the end of October 2021. Interior demolition is substantially completed at the western portion of all three building levels and the next phase includes above ceiling work.

On the outside of the building mockups and testing at the windows continues. The concrete walls of the area well at the east side of the building are installed and work has begun on the entry ramp re-configuration. Underground plumbing at the boiler room is complete. Work is currently focused on getting the new boilers operational so heat can be restored to the building.  The existing foundation drain lines at the building perimeter are clogged. The lines were excavated and filmed; however, the camera reached an obstruction. The drain at the area well was adjusted so it is connected to the storm downspout lines, rather than the foundation drains.

9/25/2020: Making Progress on the East Side of the Main Library Building

The September weather cooperated as work began on the east side of the building to repair the drain tiles and widen the sidewalk. When the trucks depart, the fences go down, and the cement dries, the side entrance will be open for business.

9/22/2020: Main Library and Bertram Woods Branch Reopen for Browsing

While renovations continue on the Main Library building, entrances will open and close according to the construction schedule. When the Library reopened for Computer Use, signs directed folks to the side door. Now that the construction is on the side of the building, another entrance has been created on the front of the building. Visitors will enter to the right past the construction gate and follow the ramp to enter the building. We appreciate your patience as we construct your library for the future.

9/2/2020: Renovations Continue as Library Reopens the Computer Center

September 2, the Library opened the Main Library Temporary Computer Center to the community. Visitors can sign up for one-hour appointments with services of copying, faxing, and scanning also available. The Temporary Computer Center is located on the second floor in the former Project Room. Meanwhile, behind the scenes the renovation continues.

7/20/2020: Getting Ready for Construction: Or How We Spent Our Summer in Quarantine

While the Library has been closed to the public, the staff has been busy storing and moving material in preparation for the renovation. The basement offices have been cleared out and staff offices have been created in the upstairs meeting rooms. Children’s material has been moved to the second floor and the former quiet study area is now filled with shelves of books.

Enjoy this look at what staff has been doing to get ready for the renovation.

6/29/2020 Library Unveils Site Logistic Plan for Renovation

At its June 29, 2020 Board Meeting the Library and Board reviewed and discussed the Site Logistics Plan for Phase I of the Renovation. While the Library has been closed during the COVID Quarantine, staff has been busy cleaning, packing, and moving to temporary offices. Construction crews have been busy “deconstructing” to get ready for the renovation.

When the Library reopens, its temporary entrance will be through the east doors near the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building.

4/07/2020Main Library Renovation Design Unveiled at Special Board Meeting

April 7, 2020, Bialosky Cleveland presented the Main Library renovation design to the Board. View the presentation here.



Renovation Update presented to Shaker Heights City Council—01-27-2020

On January 27, Library Board President, Michael Bertsch, and Library Director, Amy Switzer, updated the Shaker Heights City Council with a brief presentation on the progress of the library renovation project.



Meet the Renovation Design Team and learn what has been happening behind the scenes—01-03-2020

Read the January 2020 Library News in Shaker Life magazine about the Library’s commitment to our community, our plans for renovation, and the designers who will help to make it all happen.

Renovation Updates presented to the Board of Education—12-10-2019

On December 10, Library Board Vice President, Michael Bertsch, and Library Director, Amy Switzer, updated the Shaker Heights Board of Education with a brief presentation on the progress of the library renovation project.


Results from Community Feedback Survey—09-04-2019

Architects from Bialosky Cleveland provided a “Dashboard” view of the Community Feedback Survey results from our three opportunities for public comments in August. The exercises were interactive and enlightening.  Thank you to the 896 respondents who shared their comments with us.

Library Selects Construction Manager at Risk for Library Renovation and Repair Project—8-17-2019

The Library Board selected Turner Construction Company as the Construction Manager at Risk for the Main Library renovation project. Turner has extensive experience with public library projects and with renovating historic buildings. They have a deep knowledge of working in Shaker Heights and worked with our architects, Bialosky Cleveland, on the Van Aken District. The team working our project has built their careers on complex new build, renovation and historical projects and they have experience managing renovations during ongoing operations.

Library Selects Architect for Library Renovation and Repair Project — 5-28-2019

The Library Board selected Bialosky Cleveland as the architect for the Main Library renovation project. Because of needed repairs to the building, particularly the building envelope, it is essential to ensure that the team providing services for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP), structural, civil and building envelope services are highly qualified and experienced in similar projects. Bialosky Cleveland has significant in-house MEP expertise and will be using Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates for building envelope services. Read press release.

Library Hires Owner’s Representative — 1-28-2019

The Library Board hired RFC Contracting, Inc. as the Owner’s Representative for the Main Library renovation. RFC has extensive experience providing Owner’s Representative services on public projects, including for public libraries.