The Western Reserve Land Conservancy plans to take up residence on a Moreland Hills property that includes an 1830s home originally built as a one room schoolhouse. Ideastream's Bill Rice reports.
The 22 acre property has been owned for at least 40 years by the Lang family, and is being purchased by the Land Conservancy with help from an anonymous donor. Much of the land will become part of the surrounding Forest Ridge Preserve, Moreland Hills' signature park, while the historic home on the property will become the Land Conservancy headquarters.
The organization currently leases office space in six Northeast Ohio locations, some of them also historic in nature, although none - including the future HEADQUARTERS - is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Land Conservancy CEO Rich Cochran says the group's new home will nevertheless be a treasure.
COCHRAN: It'll be modest in size overall, but it will be literally breathtakingly beautiful world class conservation center. So this is a transforming thing in terms of allowing us to really bring people to our mission and to be able to touch it and feel it and see it."
New, highly energy-efficient offices will be built adjacent to the historic home to accommodate a staff that has more than doubled since 2005. The home itself will be used for meetings and conferences, and to accommodate visitors to the preserve.
The Land Conservancy was formed in 2006 by the merger of eight local land trusts, and has preserved nearly 23,000 acres in northern Ohio.
The new headquarters is expected to open in early 2012.