Post image for Library: Temporary Children’s space upstairs; downstairs to be closed for several weeks

Above: Children can find some books and all of their regular programs upstairs at the Library this fall while repairs take place downstairs. (photos by Beth Melo)

There’s a strong sense of deja vu at the Southborough Library these days. Nine years after a downstairs flood closed the Children’s Room for two months, damage from heavy rain caused the Library to close off the downstairs again. And it sounds like the repair process will take about as long, if not longer.

In the meantime, Children’s Librarian Kim Ivers has again setup temporary shop upstairs. Thanks to a change made in interim years, staff is able to use the Young Adult nook for regular story times and a reading space. (Click thumbnails below to see the new setup.)

YA nook as childrens space upstairs childrens space 20180925 Upstairs Southborough Library 20180925 upstairs library 20180925

The books offered to children are much more limited than its usual collection. The beginner’s books and books from their “new” display were brought up. Beyond that, most books are ones that were from the return bins. But there seems to be at least a smattering of everything. 

The good news is that thanks to its library network, the Library can still offer a lot more than is on those shelves. Through the interlibrary loan system, you can easily request books for pickup and return through the Southborough Library. (Click here. If you need staff help, call the Southborough Library at 508-485-5031.)

Regular programming also resumed with all program relocated to upstairs. Some groups using the meeting space will be meeting upstairs. Some others are moving private meetings to Cordaville Hall (aka the Senior Center) or other locations.

While the upstairs may be busier than usual, Ivers felt the dehumidifying machines help by adding white noise.

As for downstairs. . .

A week ago, severe rain passing through caused a flash flood, forcing water to enter the building. Ivers was running a morning storytime when facilities came in to usher people out. Families exited through the upstairs. Based on her July ’09 experience, Ivers and staff began quickly moving items to higher ground – until the Fire Department had them stop for safety reasons.

Since then, the library closed, pumped out the downstairs, and re-opened. But while the downstairs entrance is open, it is only to allow access to the building. The downstairs area beyond the stairs and elevator is closed off to public access. It looks like it will remain that way for several weeks.

There is no official timeline released. ServiceMaster Restore expects about 6 weeks on its end but is still assessing issues in the meeting room areas. The contractor has begun the process for tearing up damaged flooring and drywall in the Children’s Room and disenfectingto avoid mold. When that crew is done, the Town will still need to install new flooring and drywall, and repaint walls before the room can be restored to open status.

And in the meantime – what about the children’s collection? Southborough Wicked Local explained:

storage pods in library parking lotAll the books are being sanitized and placed into storage containers in the parking lot.

“No library items were damaged,” he said. “Clearly, the furniture and the physical infrastructure were as a result of this. They just want to make sure everything going into storage wasn’t water damaged.”

After the 2009 flood, the library installed more sump pumps. But Trustees and facilities always new that was a temporary band-aid on larger drainage issues. (You can read an explanation for some of that here.) In 2013, more outside work was done to try to minimize flood risk. Trustees have been hoping (and pushing) for the Main Street Reconstruction project to take care of some of the property’s drainage issues. (That item is again on their agenda for tonight’s 6:00 pm meeting at 9 Cordaville Road.)

Trustees have also been working on longer term plans to evaluate the building’s needs. In April, Town Meeting voters approved part 1 of the effort. $32,530 was approved for a building and site related assessment, plus a prioritized list of treatment recommendations. Voters were told that Trustees would use learnings from the study to inform their next steps.


Finn School has new additions to their playground this fall thanks to Finn SOS, Recreation, Friends of Southborough Recreation, and New England Recreation Group. The brief, contributed video above highlights the new playground equipment and shows the school’s appreciation.

Some of you who saw earlier, grander plans for an entirely revamped playground may be surprised. The addition is just two new pieces of equipment. But they fill important needs for the school.

Originally, SOS was seeking to raise $250K for a playground redesign. Unfortunately, their fundraising only came up with $50K. The school pulled back and focused on the primary objective. The old playground didn’t offer enough access for children with special needs and disabilities. 

Principal Clayton Ryan explained that both new pieces are more easily accessible and ADA compliant. They also fill another important gap – a play space developmentally appropriate for 3-4 year olds. In addition to the public K-1, Finn houses the district’s preschool program. (You can learn more about that here.)

According to Ryan, the project was possible at reduced costs thanks to another $10K from Recreation and the Friends of Rec, and help from an important ally.

Southborough resident Chuck Ramando had children who went through the Southborough school system. He worked with Finn SOS to get the project done. His company, New England Recreation Group, covered the extra costs not raised and installed the equipment for free.

Updated (9/25/18 11:39 am): Initially, Principal Ryan forgot to include the support from Recreation and the Friends of Rec. He asked me to rectify that.


Flu Clinic – October 3 (Updated)

by beth on September 25, 2018

Post image for Flu Clinic – October 3 (Updated)

Above: Wear short sleeves on October 3rd. The Board of Health is holding a Flu Clinic for teens, adults and employees. (Image cropped from photo posted to Flickr by USACE Europe District)

A week from tomorrow, the Town of Southborough is holding flu vaccination clinics for residents 12 years and older and Town employees. Mark your calendars, and locate your insurance ID cards.

Two sessions will be held on Wednesday, October 3rd. The first is for seniors age 60+ and Town employees only. That runs from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm. The afternoon session from 2:30 – 4:00 is also open to any residents aged 12 and up.

Seniors will be eligible for the high dose vaccine. 

Both sessions will be held at the Senior Center, 9 Cordaville Road. Be sure bring all your insurance cards with you and wear short sleeves.

Updated (9/25/18 11:45 am): I accidentally listed the longer hours from last year.


This week in sports

by beth on September 24, 2018

Post image for This week in sports

Above: ARHS Girls Varsity XCountry’s top 7 runners competed at the Amherst Invitational, with one of them coming in 3rd out of 133. (image from T-Hawks XC program website)

Algonquin Football had its homecoming game last Friday. Judging by the twitter post below (and photos posted by the Harbinger), the crowd was full of school spirit.

But, fan pep didn’t translate to a win. The T-Hawks were shutout for the 2nd week running, 0-42 to Wachusett.

Still, there’s glory to boast of in Gonk varsity sports. Two teams remain undefeated. Field Hockey racked up two more wins and Girls Soccer two ties. (You can catch Field Hockey playing at 911 field this afternoon.)

Volleyball also scored two more wins last week, but the stats I pulled up for for the team last week were wrong. With one loss a couple weeks back, the team’s record now stands at 4-1. 

That’s the same winning record as Boys Golf, which beat Shepherd Hill and Groton-Dunstable last week. Boys Soccer added a win and a loss, bringing its record to 4-2-1.

Cross Country ran at Amherst over the weekend. The Girls team ranked 6th out of 20 in the Invitational 5k. The team’s coaches posted:

Tess Reyes went out fast and ran in the lead pack of three. Tess crossed the line in third place overall with a quick early season time of 18:50. Kaitlyn Desio made her season debut this weekend with a strong finish in 22nd place and a time of 20:31. Desio kept her eyes looking forward and passed several competitors in the second half of the race! Julia Kardos continued her strong junior year with a 38th place finish and 5k PR of 21:22. Fellow junior Kathryn McCarthy ran on the heels of Kardos to place 46th with her new PR of 21:48. Rounding out the top 5 was the third junior in the top 5, Karmyn Shreeve, with a 65th place finish. The varsity team placed 6th overall competing against a quality field of top ranked teams in the state!

ARHS Boys XCountry came in 13 out of 23. The Boys’ top two runners were Jonathan Symons, 40th place with a time of 17:10 and William Lamburn, 42nd place with 17:13.

Now, here are the ARHS varsity games on tap for the week.  [click to keep reading…]


Post image for Events this week: Preventing falls, Bingo, YA Book Club, Neary Ice Cream Social, Bike/walk trail talk

Above: A talk at the Library this week will talk about the history and potential future of a rail trail for biking through Southborough. (cropped from event flyer)

Here are highlights of what’s happening around town this week.

[Note: The highlights don’t include ongoing weekly programs. For those listings and more, check the Event Calendar.]

Monday, September 24, 2018

  • Sleep Seminar (Senior Center Program) (12:00 – 1:00 pm) @ Southborough Senior Center, 9 Cordaville Rd: (This event requires pre-registration and may be full. To check, call 508-229-4453.) A one hour seminar on how to improve your sleep habits. Lunch will be provided at noon, Suggested Donation of $6. For details, see the center’s newsletter (page 2).

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

  • Poetry Workshop (6:30 – 8:30 pm) @ Southborough Library, Main Level: At each Tuesday session, everyone is asked to bring in five copies of their original poetry and distribute them to the group. Someone will read the poem and the group will provide supportive feedback. If you don’t have a poem, come anyway! We are always interested in your insights. The group is meeting every 2-3 weeks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

  • Trailblazers hike: Rockport (8:00 am – 3:00 pm) @ bus from and to the Southborough Senior Center: (This trip requires pre-registration and may be full. To check, call 508-229-4453.) A program of the Trailblazers for active seniors. The group will hike at Halibut Point State Park in Rockport. Suggested donation: $15. For details, see dedicated post.
  • ARHS Senior Photos begin (8:00 am) @ Algonquin Regional High School: Senior photos are being taken this Wed – Friday, with the class picture on Friday afternoon.
  • East Meets West: How to Prevent Falls As We Age (10:00 – 10:45 am) @ Southborough Senior Center: Falls and fear of falling can diminish your ability to lead a full and independents life. A Physical Therapist will discuss how you have the power to reduce your risk of falls. Part of the Senior Center’s series on alternative medicine options. For details, see flyer.
  • Bingo (Senior Center program) (1:00 – 2:30 pm) @ Southborough Senior Center, 9 Cordaville Rd: Monthly entertainment of the Senior Center. Join Doriann Jasinski and Bob Meyers for a wonderful afternoon of Bingo, fun and prizes. Staff will start selling cards at 1:00 and stop when cards are sold out.
  • Young Adult Book Club (4:00 – 5:00 pm) @ Southborough Library, Eaton Meeting Room: Young Adults (ages 13-18) are invited to this new monthly group. This time join to discuss your summer favorites. For details, see dedicated post.
  • Neary Welcome Back Ice Cream Social (5:00 – 7:00 pm) @ Neary School playground: The Annual event welcoming 4th & 5th grade students was rescheduled due to excessive heat on the first day of school. (Let’s hope rain doesn’t force another cancellation). Each Neary student is entitled to one free ice cream or popsicle. SOS is also selling seconds and to siblings, parents, and friends for $1 per treat.

[click to keep reading…]


Post image for The week in government: Advisory retreat, Combined school committees on Start Time (Updated)

Here is a selection of the committee and board meetings for the week along with my selected highlights from the agendas. All these meetings are open to the public, so you’re welcome to stop on by.

Be aware that changes to the meeting schedule are known to happen throughout the week. For an updated list of meetings, visit the town website.
Monday, September 24, 2018

  • Southborough School Committee – Policy Development Subcommittee, 9:00 AM @ Office of the Superintendent – Conference Room, 53 Parkerville Rd (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Policy Review and Development may include: Homework, Student Control, Admission of Children of Potential Residents, Child Abuse and Neglect, Pupil Dismissal, and Students Assigned to Buses
  • Northborough School Committee, Southborough School Committee, Northborough – Southborough Regional School Committee – Operational Budget Subcommittee, 6:30 pm @ Margaret A. Neary School, Office of the Superintendent, 53 Parkerville Rd (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Interview Superintendent’s recommendation for interim Business Manager

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

  • Board of Trustees Southborough Library, 6:00 pm @ Cordaville Hall, Rooms A and B, 9 Cordaville Rd (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Library Drainage and Main St reconstruction; Capital Planning update; and Library Asst reclassification update
  • Recreation Commission, 7:00 pm @ South Union Building, 21 Highland St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Capital Planning
  • Advisory Committee, 7:00 pm @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Retreat of Advisory Committee – includes Finance Committee best practices from a Mass Municipal Assoc, former Advisory Chair Al Hamilton on Southborough perspective, and Town Clerk on Open Meeting Law – Broadcast live and replayed by SAM*

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

  • Economic Development Committee, 7:45 am @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: ULI Report status on Downtown initiative, 2 East Main Street mixed-use project, new initiatives
  • Board of Assessors, 9:15 am @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Request to release FY17 overlay funds, discuss tax classification hearing presentation, and FY19 recap forms
  • Combined School Committees Meeting, 6:00 pm @ Algonquin Regional High School, 79 Bartlett St, Northborough (agenda) Agenda Highlights: School Start Time, Personnel Update, Coordinated Program Review Update, and Discussion of Superintendent’s Goals – Broadcast live by NCAT**
  • Regional School Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Algonquin Regional High School, 79 Bartlett St, Northborough (agenda) Agenda Highlights: FY20 Budget Priorities, Bring Your Own Device Initiative Update, and Distribution of Approved Policies – Broadcast live by NCAT**

Updated (9/24/18 11:51 am): I had accidentally listed the Wednesday morning EDC and BOA meetings as being on Thursday morning.

*Southborough Access Media will broadcast the Advisory meeting live on Verizon-37 and Charter-192. Click here to see this week’s schedule with rebroadcast times. (Videos are also usually made available through their YouTube channel by the following morning.)

**Northborough Cable Access Television will live broadcast the meeting on Verizon-29 and Charter-194. (Note: The meeting will eventually be rebroadcast. But expect to wait several days before a time and link are posted to NCAT’s schedule.)


Obituary: Louise C. (Comeau) Boucher, 84

September 21, 2018 02:00:32 PM
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Louise C. (Comeau) Boucher, 84, formerly of Southborough passed away peacefully on Monday, September 17, 2018, after a period of declining health.

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Downtown mixed-use project to reapply for 2nd floor “hotel/motel” use despite zoning issues

September 21, 2018 12:46:43 PM
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A developer is seeking permission for a downtown building with ground floor businesses and upstairs residences. That plan is despite legal advice to the Town that zoning doesn’t allow it.

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Town House closing at 11:15 am; Town Clerk until noon

September 21, 2018 08:40:50 AM
Thumbnail image for Town House closing at 11:15 am; Town Clerk until noon

If you need to replace the 2018 TS sticker, you can do it at the Clerk’s office today during their regular hours that end at noon. For all other Town House business, get there early. They’ll be closing up at 11:15 am.

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Weekend at a Glance: Finn Fall Festival, Barn to Run, Farmer’s Market, Chess, and Art on the Trails closes with poetry

September 21, 2018 07:30:28 AM
Thumbnail image for Weekend at a Glance: Finn Fall Festival, Barn to Run, Farmer’s Market, Chess, and Art on the Trails closes with poetry

Here are some highlights of events in and around Southborough this week.

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Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

September 20, 2018 04:27:34 PM
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The open discussion thread is your place to ask questions, sound off on town issues, or share information with other readers.

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On the market this week in Southborough

September 20, 2018 12:42:49 PM
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What went on and off the market this week.

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Southborough Wellness “Customer Appreciation Day” next week; free monthly seminars start tonight

September 20, 2018 09:28:37 AM
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Southboro Wellness is celebrating its first Anniversary with a “Customer Appreciation Day”.

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Discussion on Revenge Porn and teen sexting at Northborough Library tonight

September 20, 2018 07:00:48 AM
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The Northborough and Southborough Public Schools shared an announcement about an important program taking place tonight.

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