CBLH Design is currently working with the Geauga County Public Library System to design two new branch libraries and renovate of two existing branches. This is a system-wide investment of $24.2 million funded by a voter approved bond issue.
One of the new facilities, the Thompson Branch Library, was established to better accommodate the system and the community. Built in a rural setting, the 8,500 square foot building respects the roots of the community around it. Through design charrettes with the public, the form and materials were selected to emulate the existing cherished civil buildings. The project was refined through this engagement and residents stated that the design reminded them of their own homes. This is where the design team and owner knew that this building would serve as a true reflection of the community it serves. The interior spaces are flooded with natural light through vaulted windows providing stunning visuals from front to back. A buffalo plaid pattern is present throughout the floors and bathrooms and evokes the thought of warm flannel on snow-covered nights in the town. A long linear thoroughfare guides the patrons through the library and serves as a path to easily connect all spaces through a centrally located circulation desk. The branch includes dedicated reading spaces for both children and adults as well as two study rooms that offer quiet, glass-enclosed spaces for small gatherings. The new branch sits atop a five-acre property formerly occupied by Thompson School, which originated in the late 1890s. In tribute to the site and the library’s strong ties to the local schools, the old school bell hangs over the entry door to the multi-media conference room.
The Thompson Branch also features the Frances Spatz Leighton Reading Room, which is of special significance to the community. This nationally renowned author and former resident of Thompson, gifted a large sum of money to her beloved town upon her passing. It was very important to her that Thompson’s children understand the wealth of knowledge that comes from reading. She spent her childhood playing in the woods in the surrounding community and fittingly, the reading room that bears her name is situated on the wooded side of the building overlooking the tree line.
Work for the Geauga County Public Library System was performed in partnership with Perkins&Will.
With over 40 years of experience, Bill is widely recognized by his peers for his healthcare planning and design skills. Having previously worked for several national architectural firms, his portfolio includes a diverse variety of healthcare projects, including academic medical centers, community hospitals, and specialty care centers. His past clients include many of the country’s leading healthcare provider organizations.
Having lived and worked for the bulk of his career in Columbus, Bill now resides in Mount Gilead, Ohio. During his free time, he enjoys traveling with his wife, as well as piloting his sports car around the Mid-Ohio course in Lexington, Ohio. A lifelong amateur astronomer, he recently built an observatory near his home, where he enjoys taking colorful astrophotos and showing others the beauty of the night sky.
Mike is a graduate of Kent State University where he received both his Bachelor and Master of Architecture. Prior to starting his design career, Mike earned a Bachelor of Quality Management from the University of Akron. He spent 12 years in the automotive and aerospace industries focusing on quality systems, statistical analysis, Total Quality Management (TQM), LEAN and continuous improvement. Mike drives continuous quality improvement for CBLH’s clients by applying this experience to architectural project implementation.
In his personal life, Mike is an ardent fan of baseball and football. He loves to cheer on his daughter from the stands or coach from the sidelines as she plays travel volleyball and other school sports.
Fun fact – Mike pitched for the Akron Zips baseball team as a scholarship athlete.
Brian is a native Clevelander and joined CBLH Design in 2009 after working in Los Angeles and Chicago. He is a registered architect in the state of Ohio and a LEED Accredited Professional through USGBC. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 2004 and Master of Architecture degree in 2005, both from Kent State University. Brian enjoys movies, playing soccer and spending time with his wife, and two daughters.
Fun Fact: You’ll often hear Brian quoting movies as part of his regular vocabulary.
Natalie Symon leads our Interiors department. She joined the firm in 1977 when Don Spice, founding partner, hired her on the spot. She began work the same afternoon of her interview and has been delivering vibrant and functional interior designs to CBLH’s clients ever since.
Natalie earned her degree at Massey College and holds NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) certification.
Natalie maintains the firm’s commitment to providing sustainable design solutions and also believes in incorporating natural spaces when possible. She holds a certificate of merit in Healthcare Garden Design and is a member of: the American Horticultural Society, Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the UK, as well as the Cleveland and Chicago Botanical Gardens. Natalie is also nearing completion of her final project from King’s College in London to receive her Certificate in Garden Design.
Outside of the office, Natalie enjoys spending time with family and her dog Kiki, the last of her show dog line. She is also an avid Equestrian showing horses in Equitation and Pleasure Classes (English Saddle Seat) year-round. When Natalie chooses travel, she enjoys visiting family and friends in Hawaii.
Marc is a 1979 graduate of Kent State University where he received a Bachelor of Architecture. With over 40 years of experience, Marc has guided numerous projects throughout Ohio to successful completion and has directed the design efforts of the company since his hiring in 1985. His passion for design brings his knowledge of past experience together with the challenge of each client’s needs to create truly unique solutions.
His dedication for volunteering is evident in his involvement in many professional organizations as well as in his community. He is a current member in the Strongsville Chamber of Commerce, past board member of the Strongsville Schools Foundation and the American Liver Foundation, and a volunteer for the Arthritis Foundation.
Marc enjoys the competition of all sports and spends as much time as he can with his family. His wife, Jane, three adult children and a growing number of grandchildren make life exciting.
Favorite quote – “No man ever stepped in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man” – Heraclitus
Scott is a graduate of Kent State University and a LEED accredited professional who specializes in healthcare and library architecture. He is a high energy design professional who brings enthusiasm and passion to every project he is involved in. This mentality helps clients connect better with their project and brings out the best experience for the entire design and ownership team. Whether leading a cutting-edge healthcare facility or a library designed for the community it serves, Scott brings the same dedication to all his projects.
Jeff, a graduate of The Ohio State University, is a Principal at CBLH Design. His background includes the design and management of healthcare, educational, library and institutional projects. A resident of Medina, Jeff is a born leader and mentor. He enjoys guiding others by passing knowledge and inspiring emerging professionals in the workplace. His aspirations for the company are to embody culture into the organization by cultivating a creative, energetic atmosphere with a healthy work/life balance for the staff. Outside the office, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, skiing, golfing, and vacationing in the Outer Banks.
Fun fact – When Jeff was 12 years old, he was struck by lightning!
Mike is a 1988 graduate of Kent State University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in architecture and began his career at CBLH Design over 30 years ago. While maintaining accreditations and certifications in sustainable and evidence-based design he became board certified by the American College of Healthcare Architects in 2006. Mike’s focus has been the design of healthcare spaces that improve lives and patient outcomes thru thoughtful design as well as firm management oversight. Outside of the office he enjoys traveling, golf, spending time outdoors camping with family and friends and overnight canoe trips on the Allegheny River. Mike resides in Medina County with his family.
Fun fact – Mike’s musical tastes are at both ends of the spectrum from heavy metal to classic country… but not much in between.