The Cleveland Sight Center’s training center and preschool and will soon share the former Coventry School with the Ensemble Theatre.
Cleveland Heights City Council approved a $15,000 loan for the Sight Center . The center can use the money, which comes from the city's Community Development Block Grant fund, to modify the space to fit its needs, said Richard Wong, planning and development director for the city.
The city will forgive the loan if the center creates and maintains at least 12 new full-time jobs for a minimum of one year. People with low or moderate incomes must fill at least 51 percent of the positions.
The Sight Center is moving the first week of June for about a year while its space on East 101st Street is renovated, and it will also operate out of the Rockefeller Pointe Building on Lee Boulevard and Mayfield Road.
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District owns the former school, which closed in June 2007 and is located at the intersection of Washington and Euclid Heights boulevards and Coventry Road. Since February the Ensemble Theatre, which operates classes and workshops, and offers a summer camp, has rented some space in the building.
Ensemble's lease ends in August, but Ian Hinz, director of operations for the theater, said he's found a home in Cleveland Heights.
"We plan to be in the location long-term. It is a great location and will allow us to expand our educational outreach programming, be part of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights community in a very positive way," Hinz said by email. "It is nice to be 'home' in Cleveland Heights."
The sight center will use the former library to train people who are blind, vision impaired or have a physical disability in call center work from 2 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and how to use computers modified to their needs.
In addition to the training center, the sight center's Bright Futures Preschool will move in and operate from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Family Connections will also move from its space in the former Taylor Academy to a similar-sized space in the school most likely sometime in July, said Angee Shaker, communications director for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District.
One reason is to make space for the registration department, which will move from its home at the , Shaker said.
“Taylor is already 75 percent occupied with district programs and is more centrally located, which makes it more convenient for families,” said Steve Shergalis, business services director for the district, by email.
Terry Moore, office manager for Family Connections, said they look forward to moving to the Coventry location.
"We’re excited that the board continues to see our value and provide the space," she said. "We’re just excited that we’re still a part of the community and we can still provide the community with the services that we have."
Residents can hear more about the plans for the building at a . Shergalis will discuss the details, and representatives from the Sight Center, Family Connections and Ensemble Theatre will answer questions from the community.