The Westborough Public Library was built in 1908 to serve a population of 5,400. The original 10,000 square foot building was renovated and expanded in 1980 to its current 20,000 square feet. Since 1980, Westborough’s population has increased 36%. Growth is currently in a “bubble,” which will peak in the 2020s and level off around 2035.
Realizing that the library needed to make some changes to meet the town’s increasing population, library trustees hired a consultant in 2012 to conduct a needs assessment to begin planning for the future. The study revealed that the current building could no longer effectively accommodate the services, wishes, and needs of the community, nor would it be able to do so in the future. It showed the library was undersized to serve its community as a thriving 21st century public library. It became clear the library needed either expansion or a new facility to adequately serve Westborough into the future.
The proposed project calls for demolition of the 1980 addition and a small portion of the rear of the 1908 building. A new 3-story addition will be added, starting a few feet lower than the current addition, so that floors in both buildings will match. Highlights include a larger Teen Room, the addition of study rooms, a Children’s Department on the top floor, and major infrastructure improvements. The historic character of the building will be preserved and woven into the addition, since the library is a significant building in the West Main Street Historic District.
The Construction Grant Application was submitted with all the supporting documents to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners on January 26, 2017. We were notified in July 2017 that our application was successful, and we were placed at #11 on a prioritized list for funds. We are now at #1 on the list. When the MBLC announces grant awards in July 2022, we expect to be awarded our grant. At that point, we will have six months to gain local approval of the project.
The total project cost was estimated in 2016 to be approximately $24 million, with just over $9.4 million reimbursable under the grant. A new cost estimate is underway and should be complete by late summer 2022.
The Library Building Committee typically meets the last Tuesday of the month at 3:30 pm at the Westborough Public Library. Agendas are posted on the Town calendar and on the Library Building Committee Google Drive.
To learn more, click through the links below, or contact Maureen Amyot, Library Director, [email protected]
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Construction Grant information
Construction Grant Application (51 pages, pdf)
Alternate Site Investigation (31 pages, pdf)
Existing Parking Graphic (1 page, pdf)