By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough ?Last spring the town's voters rejected a proposal to fund the renovations for Town Hall and to build a new Recreation Center. ?Now, Town Manager Jim Malloy has suggested another option – moving the town offices located in the Town Hall and the Forbes Municipal Building (FMB) to an empty space at the Bay State Commons.
A public meeting will be held Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at the FMB, Room 23, to discuss the proposal.
According to Malloy, the town has obtained a quote for a 20-year lease on 11,000 square feet of office space located in the far end of the Roche Bros. store block, across from the Boston Sports Club building. The cost to renovate this space would be approximately $2,388,640, he said, with a first- year lease cost of $345,780.
The estimate to renovate the Town Hall and build a new town Recreation Center is approximately $11 million. By Malloy's calculations, it would cost the town $2,605,252 less over a 20-year period to lease space at the Bay State Commons than it would to renovate the Town Hall and build a new Recreation Center.
Moving town offices to this location would serve several purposes, he said. It would allow all town offices to be in one central spot. Moving town offices out of the FMB would then give the Police Department more room on the first two floors. Westborough Youth and Family Services, and the School Department, would remain in that building. It would also allow the basketball court to stay there as well. The Recreation Department, which is currently in Town Hall, could either move into the FMB or to the new offices.
“The current Town Hall is not suited for our purposes anymore,” Malloy noted. “We actually have employees who are in offices that are like caves because there are no windows. Much of it is not in code and we have so much space that can's be used for various reasons.”
“The [Sept. 12] meeting is just the first step to find out what people think about this idea,” he stressed.
The earliest the issue would come before the voters for approval would be next spring, he added.