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Youth Writing Workshop Finds Home in Coventry

Lake Erie Ink receives School Board approval to move into former Coventry Elementary building

The Coventry neighborhood is set to become a new haven for young writers.

That’s because , an organization that had been bouncing around at Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools and libraries helping area children explore their writing ability through classes and workshops, will move into a permanent spot at the former Coventry Elementary building Sept. 19.

The CHUH School Board approved a one-year lease for the organization during its regular meeting Tuesday night, which made the plans official. 

“They’re really a fabulous program,” said Steve Shergalis, director of business services for the district. “We’re happy to have them in the building.”

The Cleveland Heights Planning Commission also gave the group a conditional use permit, which spells out the rules and guidelines for using the former elementary school, at its meeting Aug. 10. 

Lake Erie Ink, which offers writing support in everything from plays, poetry, comic books and nonfiction, will occupy about 2,000 square feet of the building at a cost of about $13,000 for the term.  

The organization is also a writing space for students from grade four through high school, and will this fall offer writing workshops for students in the sixth grade and up, along with a Saturday workshop for students of all ages.

Also new this fall, students can participate in The Ink Spot, an after-school homework support program for students in the fourth to eighth grades. The assistance will cover all school courses (not just writing) from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Lake Erie Ink is supported by various grants, so the registration per student is kept low at just $25 per quarter. Once registered, a student can participate in all the programming. But space will be limited.

Another tenant at Coventry Elementary also received some modifications to its lease agreement Tuesday. The lease for the , which has used the building to put on plays since January, was amended by the board to clearly define what space the theater program can use.

Shergalis explained that no one else occupied the building when Ensemble Theatre moved in, so the lease never dictated what parts of the building the theater could use. Now that the building has additional tenants, like , , and in a few weeks Lake Erie Ink, Ensemble Theatre will be restricted to the gymnasium and a four-classroom pod in the rear of the building.

, but the group is in talks with the district to extend the lease, Shergalis said. The Cleveland Heights Planning Commission extended the theater's conditional use permit to two years in July. 

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