By Jeff Gallatin
City officials are preparing to open the doors to the Community House to allow the Village Bike Co-op to move into the historic structure during March.
Bay Village service Director Dan Galli said contractors will begin final work on installing a new fire alarm system in the Community House this week. Mayor Debbie Sutherland signed the contract giving the final go-ahead for completing the work, which will allow the Village Bike Co-op to move its operations into the building.
“They’ll start pulling wires out and other initial work next week,” Galli said Friday. “We hope that the work is completed by March 1, but it should be done at least by March 15.”
After city officials decided several weeks ago to allow the bike group to move into the Community House, city officials began the process of getting the new fire alarm system installed and a contract drawn up for an agreement between the city and the bike group, allowing it to utilize the building.
Once the new alarm system is installed, the fire department will have to approve it and say the building is ready for occupancy.
“There will be some internal tests after the work is done and then the fire department will come in for final approval,” Galli said.
Bay Village fire Chief Chris Lyons said his department is just waiting to hear that the building is ready for inspection.
“The actual installation of the alarm system is in the hands of the contractor and the city,” he said. “It was a pretty old system in there previously, so they’re basically getting a new system in there. They’re a pretty professional group. They’ve got the blue prints and are pretty well-prepared to get the work done, from what I understand. Once that’s done, we’ll go over and make sure everything is OK.”
Lawrence Kuh, of the Bay Village Skate & Bike Park Foundation, said the group and its supporters are eager to see the bike co-op group installed in its new location.
“There’s a lot of interest in it, particularly with riders in school,” Kuh said.
During discussion at the Feb. 11 City Council meeting, Jennifer Smillie from the bicycle group asked if it would be possible to start moving in even informally to allow the group to prepare for upcoming events. She cited the annual bike to school activities at Bay middle and high schools in May.
Councilman at Large Dwight Clark suggested making the new contract date for April 1, but indicated he was flexible as to when it should officially start. Clark said he and other council members want to make it as easy as possible for the group. Council has indicated support for having a community group back in the Community House, which has sponsored a wide range of city groups and activities throughout the years.