Westborough voters approve new HVAC for library

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By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor

Westborough – Voters approved $576,683 for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) System for the Public Library Oct. 17 at a Special Town Meeting.

Town Manager Jim Malloy, who presented the article with Library Director Maureen Ambrosino, explained that the current HVAC system is 30 years old and in danger of not making it through the upcoming winter. Therefore, he said, it was the Capital Planning Expenditure Committee's highest priority.

Malloy said that officials had hoped to obtain approval for a new system at the May 14 Annual Town Meeting. But just prior to that meeting, it was determined that the estimate of $360,000 would cover only a portion of the work and equipment required.

Officials instead decided to hold off requesting funds and have a complete engineering assessment done that would compare the life-cycle costs of several models and plans. It was determined, Malloy said, that a single high-efficiency boiler that would provide 100 percent of the design load and with a rated efficiency of 91 percent would be the best choice.

The project will be paid for from free cash, he added.

Resident Michael Abladian, 7 Andrews St., asked if the library had also considered upgrading the windows as a way to help conserve heat.

Ambrosino responded that library officials had discussed that issue, especially because the windows in the original part of the library, which dates back to 1908, were single panes.

“That is definitely the draftiest part and where we lose a lot of heat,” she said.

She added that the library would be asking for a capital request for new windows at a later date, but officials felt the HVAC was a higher priority at this time.

The article passed by a majority vote.