Library Building Committee discuss next steps after Town Meeting

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Library Building Committee discuss next steps after Town Meeting
With expansion plans off the table, the Westborough Public Library’s Building Committee will work on a price proposal for spring Town Meeting. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

WESTBOROUGH – The windows and roof of the Westborough Public Library still need to be replaced.

As does the electrical system. The entrances, doors and ramps are not ADA compliant, and the elevator needs work.

The question – with the plans for expanding and renovating the library rejected at Special Town Meeting on Dec. 10, what will be the best way to get these fixed?

That was the big discussion among the members of the Library Building Committee when it met via Zoom on Dec. 13.

The Library Building Committee will work with [Lamoureux Pagano Associates Architects or LPAA] to define the scope for a price proposal,” Library Director Maureen Amyot. 

She said the proposal would include the cost for engineering studies and needs assessment as well as design work for the repairs, code work and ADA upgrades.

“It won’t include the work itself, just their cost for doing the all the preconstruction studies,” she said.

Amyot continued, “We would bring that price proposal number to Town Meeting, and if approved, they would complete all the studies and assessments, do the design to a level that could be estimated for costs, and do a detailed cost estimate. We would bring the cost estimate to a future Town Meeting for approval to do the renovation work.”

During the meeting, committee members discussed possible options, such as reviving the bookmobile.

Although it’s a good idea, Amyot said a bookmobile is not part of the library’s current plans.

She also rejected the idea of a separate children’s library.

“We serve all the public,” she said, adding, “The kids keep the library hopping.”

The main consensus among the committee – holding off on repairs is not an option.

“Critical needs are critical needs,” said Amyot. 

She told the committee about one instance in which one of the front windows “worked its way open,” and a maintenance worker had to go outside with a ladder and tap the window shut.

“To do nothing is not appropriate,” said Sean Keogh, who is the Select Board’s liaison to the committee.

LPAA staff said they could prepare a price proposal in about a month. That will give committee members time to discuss the proposal and prepare it for Town Meeting.

The committee will meet again Jan. 3 at 3:30 p.m. via Zoom.

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