The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation announced today the purchase of a 9,200 square-foot building formerly owned by Premier Farnell Corporation, located at 4506 Chester Avenue. The new space will significantly strengthen the organization’s ability to provide litigation and education programs to defend the Bill of Rights for all.

The property and building, purchased for $250,000, will under-go extensive renovations and will include a Community Conference Center, multi-purpose rooms to support education and litigation, student work stations to support ACLU’s extensive internship program and offices for fifteen staff and volunteers. ACLU expects to move into the renovated building in late spring. The organization has been located in the Warehouse District since the 1970s.

Executive Director, Christine Link explained, “This is an ambitious project for a small sized non-profit organization, but the board of directors believes it the best decision in the face of increasing rents and greater demand for our programs. The Capital Campaign goal of $1.1 million dollars will be raised from charitable foundations and most importantly, from our members and supporters of civil liberties around the State.”

Link further explained, “We are working closely with our design-build firm, Hummer-Built to renovate this building to make it accessible to all people, environmentally friendly and energy efficient, attractive and easy to maintain. We will use union labor or pay prevailing wage. We hope to execute this project in a way that makes us good citizens of the urban community, and we are excited to be in the MidTown neighborhood.”

The building will be named “The Max Wohl Center for Civil Liberties,” in honor of one of the organization’s founders who devoted fifty years as a volunteer on behalf of human rights and civil liberties causes.

The ACLU has secured a two- year “bridge” loan from Metropolitan Bank and Trust to support renovation of the building. Metropolitan Bank has worked aggressively to expand its community lending division. Through the Capital Campaign, the board of directors hopes to quickly retire any mortgage so that the organization is positioned to devote resources to its eighty-year fight to protect individual liberties and human rights.