Westborough library presents update on repair project

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Westborough library presents update on repair project
This drone photo shows the Westborough library in downtown Westborough. (Photo/Tami White)

WESTBOROUGH – The repair project for the Westborough Public Library has started to come into focus.

During the Select Board meeting on Dec. 20, Library Director Maureen Amyot and Mary Johnston, the chair of the library’s Board of Trustees, provided an update.

Over the past few months, consultants have visited the library to collect information about the roof, windows, heating system and more. This information is being used to analyze which repairs are most needed.

The Library Building Committee and the Board of Trustees, agreed on having basic repairs done, with additional work on the roof, some of the windows and some systems.

There would also be some changes within the building. The teen area, currently in the front two rooms, would be moved to the back of the main floor; the new area would be enclosed for noise control and privacy.

New restrooms would be installed, and the meeting room will get new lighting.

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The children’s room would have its program space enclosed.

By Town Meeting this spring, the Library Building Committee will have a better idea about preliminary cost estimates and schematic design. The committee plans to have a warrant article at Town Meeting to ask for funding for design development fees and to prepare construction documents.

Should the funds be approved, Amyot and Johnston said it will take about a year for this part of the process.

The goal is to come before Town Meeting in the spring of 2025 to request funds for the project like construction and soft costs, such as temporary space. Should those funds be approved, the repair project would begin soon afterward.

ADA compliance

The Library Building Committee received several inquiries on whether the project could be spread out to avoid costs associated with compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The committee, and the Board of Trustees, said the project will comply with the ADA, even if it means an increase in costs.

“We’re a public library, and public is our middle name,” said Amyot. “We have people with all kinds of disabilities who need access to services…”

“The building clearly needed ADA upgrades,” she added.

Select Board members both agreed that trying to split the project, in order to save money, is not only wrong but illegal.

“I would go as far as to say ludicrous,” said Select Board member Patrick Welch.

“It’s illegal. It’s breaking the law,” added Chair Sean Keogh.

The board voted to endorse the statement that the project would comply with the ADA.

Want to know more about the project? Committee Chairman Ed Baldwin will hold office hours the Monday after each committee meeting at 3 p.m. on Zoom.

The next office hour will take place on Monday, Jan. 22, and may be accessed via http://tinyurl.com/wpl-lbc-officehour12224.

For updates and more information, visit www.westboroughlibrary.org/about/repair-project.

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