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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Treehouse project underway at Coe Lake

Berea mayor says construction will conclude by early June.
Photo+rendering+of+the+treehouse%2C+consisting+of+one+main+platform+and+two+seperate+tree+platforms+accessible+through+bridges.
City of Berea
Photo rendering of the treehouse, consisting of one main platform and two seperate tree platforms accessible through bridges.

The treehouse project, initiated by Berea Mayor Cyril Kleem, has officially begun construction in Coe Lake Park.

Kleem said the treehouse will consist of a main platform that is about 660 square feet, with two separate platforms that are connected by bridges. The total footprint of the treehouse, which is being constructed in front of the pool house, is around 1500 square feet.

Kleem said that the city has been considering the treehouse for a long time, and despite adding improvements such as the pavilion, amphitheater and playground, he wanted to create something that would distinguish Berea from other cities.

“I wanted to add a feature that maybe nobody around here had, no other city, and the treehouse came to mind,” Kleem said. “We try to add some interesting things now and then, and this is the latest.”

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Kleem said that he wanted to address the Coe Lake area specifically because of its role in bringing the City of Berea together.

“Coe Lake to me…I always envisioned it to be like the community living room where people got together and just hung out, and this is something to help do that,” Kleem said.

Jacob Reed, a first-year criminal justice student, said that he agrees that Coe Lake is a community center for Berea.

“The amphitheater is pretty cool, it definitely complements the lake,” Reed said. “I always have friends walking up here, just by themselves, just to enjoy it. It’s just beautiful nature, you know? It’s relaxing.”

According to Kleem, the idea is for the treehouse to be a multifunctional attraction, to serve anyone and everyone who wants to use it.

“This one [the treehouse] has a multi-purpose,” Kleem said. “It could be used by kids to go up and have fun, but it could also be like a pavilion up in the trees where you can maybe have a party or reception or something like that.”

When shown a photo rendering of the treehouse design Reed said “That’s a great idea. I think a lot of people would come, just for that. [It will] just add beauty.”

In order to fund the treehouse, the city of Berea received grants from both Cuyahoga County and Berea Kiwanis Club, which funded nearly the entire project.

“Cuyahoga County, over the years, has had some grant money for special projects,” Kleem said. “Normally, they fund things like roads and sewers and stuff like that, but then they always set aside some money for cooler projects.”

The treehouse was originally scheduled to be completed in fall of 2023 but was delayed due to lack of contractor availability. However, the city eventually hired Zerbe Construction, who Kleem said also built the pavilion and the amphitheater at Coe Lake Park. Kleem is optimistic that it will be finished in time for Coe Lake’s first concert, on June 15.

Kleem said that, overall, the goal of the treehouse project is to improve the quality of life for Berea citizens, and to create something fun for everyone to use.

“I think towns need to reinvent themselves on a regular basis or you get stagnant, you know?” Kleem said. “Doing little projects like this helps do that, it just adds a cool little feature to your town.”

Last updated Friday, April 19 with a student opinion.

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