WESTBOROUGH – Over the past several years, Bill Linnane has gotten to know Westborough, including its public library, quite well.
The roof. The windows. The one and only restroom. What needs to be repaired, and what needs to be replaced.
As a library trustee and a member of the Library Building Committee, Linnane has seen plans for the library turn from repair to renovation and expansion, and back to repair.
Linnane recently stepped down as library trustee, but he remains on the building committee.
As the library received Town Meeting approval for $360,459 to fund a building study and design costs, including a needs assessment, Linnane wants to make it clear about what the library needs.
“People need to understand the current situation,” said Linnane. “It’s important as we develop repair plans.”
Part of the proposed study would include a more detailed examination of and into the structure.
“We have to redevelop what the needs are; we have to go back and re-evaluate,” he said. “We need to poke inside the walls and see what we are dealing with.”
As the library begins the process, Linnane reminded residents that “going forward, we will still get hit with the inflationary cost.”
Community service from the start
Linnane has been married to his wife, Bev for 57 years; they have two children, Jen and Sean, and a granddaughter, Madigan.
He was born in Rutland. When he was 14, his father passed away and his family moved to Westborough.
He graduated from Westborough High School in 1958. Because he was the oldest in the family, and he was needed at home, Linnane was not drafted for military service.
Linnane earned an associate’s degree in civil engineering from Wentworth Institute. He attended Northeastern University in the evenings, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology. His career covers local projects of house building, Mill Pond Dam, etc., along with power, chemical, pulp and paper, hazardous waste projects. His last project was Boston’s Big Dig.
In 1961-62, Linnane helped develop the Teen Canteen, along with Jean McGoldrick of the former Green Thumb nursery on Turnpike Road.
He also served on other town committees, including advisory and finance, the Civic Club and the Rotary Club. He’s now involved as past president with Westborough Connects and the Charlotte Spinney Foundation.
He used his construction background years ago to help with the renovation project at St. Luke’s Parish.
Linnane’s background came in handy again 12 years ago when he met Maureen Amyot, who had just become director at the Westborough Public Library.
“There needs to be some diverse background on the committee,” he recalled. “I did bring some different talent…”
Linnane first ran for library trustee in 2017, and he won his first of two three-year terms.
“The biggest thing is giving back to the community,” he said.
He is also president of the Charlotte Spinney Foundation, which mentors high school students.
The program offers financial and mentoring support for eligible Westborough High School students.
Founded in 1995, the program was established by Spinney, an educator who taught in Westborough Public Schools for many years.
Beginning in the eighth grade, foundation scholars are paired with mentors: a teacher at the high school and a member of the local community. Along with ongoing support and guidance from their mentors, these students also receive needed financial assistance.
As juniors and seniors in high school, students receive up to $500 per year to help cover the cost of numerous school-related activities, such as SAT and ACT exams, junior and senior proms and yearbooks. In addition, students receive up to $2,000 per year for up to four years of “continuing education.” This results in a total commitment of up to $9,000 per student. Donations of any amount go directly to supporting the scholars.
Over the 2021-2022 school year, the program served 15 students in Westborough High School and in post-secondary education.
The program is a 501 c (3) organization, and funded by private donations.
For information, visit www.facebook.com/CSVScholarship.
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