Westborough to close on community center building for $8.8M

Average single-family tax impact estimated at $147


Westborough to close on community center building for $8.8M
Westborough is hoping to turn the former Boston Sports Club in Bay State Commons into a community center. (Photo/Tami White)

WESTBOROUGH – The town can now call 1500 Union St. its own.

In a brief meeting on Wednesday, March 13, the Select Board voted, 5-0, to purchase the building – the site of the now-former Boston Sports Clubs – to convert into a community center.

The town will formally close the deal with the buyer, BSC RE Owner LLC, on Tuesday, March 19.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Select Board member Ian Johnson. “Yes, it’s costing money, but it’s an opportunity we take advantage of.”

About the Community Center

In October 2023, the town entered a purchase-and-sales agreement with BSC RE Owner LLC for 1500 Union St.

Town Meeting authorized a borrow of $8.8 million to purchase the 2.58-acre site, which will be converted into a Community Center. The loan would be paid over 20 years, with an interest rate of 3.75%.

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The Community Center has a total of 63,000 square feet – 31,000 for the first floor, 33,000 for the second floor. Current amenities include a basketball court and a pool.

There will also be about 90 parking spaces, plus reciprocal easements.

Financial impact

The total estimated impact for FY2025 would be $1,201,969 (includes $431,969 for operating expenses – wages, utilities and maintenance; and $770,000 for debt service).

The debt service will decrease every year until fiscal 2041 where the final payment is projected at $522,500.

Wages would include $59,980 for a custodian (DPW budget); and a Community Center manager ($34,490 for six months, Recreation budget). Another position, a Program and Volunteer coordinator, has not been funded for FY25.

Fuel and gas are estimated at $41,874 (DPW budget); electricity is estimated at $126,625 (electricity budget). Building and Common Area maintenance is estimated at $171,000 (DPW budget).

The total estimated impact for average single-family household for fiscal 2025 will be $147.84.

This budget would go into effect on July 1, pending approval at Town Meeting.

According to Town Manager Kristi Williams, the next step would be to secure an owner’s project manager and an architect. A more detailed timeline, including a community engagement process, will be announced in April.

She added that the Recreation Department could move into the building sometime this spring.

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