Post image for The week in sports: Basketball heading to the Garden; Bball and Hockey Power Rankings are out

Above: Gonk Gymnasts spent a lot of time upside down in last Thursdays meet against Marlborough. Presumably, they landed on their feet, since they scored another win. (images cropped from pics courtesy of Owen Jones Photography)

This Sunday, ARHS Basketball teams will head to TD Garden to play Nashoba on the Celtics’ court. (You can read the Harbinger’s coverage of that here.)

On Friday, MIAA posted power rankings for Basketball. ARHS Girls were ranked 29 out of 64 D1 teams. After losing Wachusett (39-74) and beating Wayland (35-31) last week, the team is now at 6-2 for the season. The Boys are only ranked 56 out of 65. (Nashoba is a D2 team, so not included in the same power rankings.)

Last week, the ARHS Boys also lost to Wachusett (47-83) then beat another school (St Bernard’s 53-41). That kept their record even, 5-5.

The only other power rankings posted to date were for Ice Hockey. There again, the ARHS Girls are higher ranked than the Boys this season.

ARHS Boys Hockey had two wins last week over Wachusett (3-2) and Westfield (7-2), bringing their record to 8-3. They are ranked 18 out of 40 D2 teams. The Girls are ranked 9 out of 54. Last week, they beat Wellesley (4-1). They also suffered their first loss of the season (against Longmeadow 0-2), putting their record at 9-1-2.

That leaves Boys Swimming/Diving as the only undefeated ARHS team this winter. Their latest wins were over Tantasqua High School (78-63) and Tyngsborough/Groton-Dunstable (85-53).

ARHS Gymnastics scored two more wins last week over Marlborough (136.3-135.5) and Hudson (134.6-134.2), improving their record to 5-3.

The ARHS Ski Teams did well at their latest race. The Girls’ team won and Boys placed third. Three Gonk Skiers made the top 10 for their gender. You can see the results here.

For ARHS Indoor Track, the Boys team ranked 18th in the MSTCA State Relays, while the Girls didn’t rank. You can find more info on individual results here.

ARHS Girls Swimming and Diving have yet to score a team win, though some individual members fared well again in their two most recent meets. (You can see the Telegram’s highlights here and here.)

Wrestling lost to 2 out of 3 schools at a Tri-meet over the weekend, bringing their record to 3-7. But they also can boast some team member accomplishments. (There is no record of results from wrestling at Marlborough days earlier.)

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

{ 0 comments }

Obituary: Vincent P. Acampora, 81

by beth on January 25, 2022

Post image for Obituary: Vincent P. Acampora, 81

Vincent P. Acampora, 81, of Southborough passed away on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at Oak Knoll Healthcare Center in Framingham. He was the beloved husband of Suzanne (Scott) Acampora for over 62 years.

Vincent earned his bachelors degree from the University of Hartford and worked for several companies in Connecticut before working for C and K Componats where he was an electrical design engineer, retiring after 33 years of service. He was an active member of the Southborough Senior Center, where he was a member of the Dull Men’s Club.

In his hometown of Bristol, CT, Vinny was very active in youth sports. He was a long time coach with Bristol Midget Football as well as a coach and officer at McCabe Water Little League. He was also a business owner in Bristol, running the Omelettery and Kelsea’s. Vinny will also be remembered for leading the Mum Festival Parade in his purple dune buggy. He always loved having the whole family around, be it at family barbecues, family softball tournaments or beach parties. Vinny was the biggest kid you would ever know. From building snow slides (legendary) to throwing his nephews into the ocean, all the kids wanted to be with Uncle Vinny. He also stayed one step ahead. Whether it was cheating at board games or freezing eggs for egg smashing contests, you were not beating Vinny.

An avid New York Yankees and Giant fan, he loved giving it (and getting it back) from his Massachusetts group. His daily breakfasts with the Mauro’s crowd were a source of great enjoyment. He loved his yearly trips to Maine with his wife. Vinny was great with his hands, be it working on his cars or a woodworking project. If he needed something fixed, you gave Vinny a call. He would give you the shirt off his back.

Vinny will be remembered as a son, a brother, a husband, a mentor, a role model, an uncle, a friend, a father, a “Poppy”. He will be missed by all that knew him.  [click to keep reading…]

{ 0 comments }

Obituary: Donald A. Buzzell, 73

by beth on January 25, 2022

Post image for Obituary: Donald A. Buzzell, 73

Donald Allen Buzzell, 73, of Northborough and formerly a long time Southborough resident passed away on Friday, January 21,2022 after a long and courageous battle with cancer, due to exposure to Agent Orange. He was the loving husband of Linda (Harding) Buzzell, and the son of the late Gertrude (Neary) and Charles Buzzell.

“Buzzy”, as he was known by many, dedicated many years in service to his community. Don was a 1966 graduate of Algonquin Regional High School. Don began working with the Department of Public Works in Southborough before serving in the Army. He served in Vietnam as a Specialist Five. Don earned the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service. While in the service, Linda joined him in Hanau, Germany. After his time in the service, Don resumed his work for the Town of Southborough for 38 years before retiring as the town’s first Assistant Superintendent of Public Works. He was respected for his commitment to ensuring high standards and quality work to meet the needs of the town.

A devoted father, Don’s purest joy was everyday moments with his family. His children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews will remember the fun, games and entertainment that he provided for them. Don was a beloved youth baseball and basketball coach. After cheering on his own children in sports, he was a proud spectator at his grandchildren’s athletics, plays, concerts, shows, and recognition ceremonies.  [click to keep reading…]

{ 0 comments }

Post image for The week in government: Planning Board and Conservation hearings, and much more

Above: These days (unless otherwise noted) all of the Town’s committees and boards are back to meeting over zoom.

Here are the posted committee and board meetings for this week along with my selected highlights from the agendas.

Unless otherwise noted, meetings are all remote sessions open to the public.*

As always, be aware that changes to the meeting schedule are known to happen throughout the week. (Scroll down for details on meetings that popped up after last Monday’s post.) For an updated list of meetings, visit the town website.

Monday, January 24, 2022

  • Planning Board Meeting, 7:00 pm (agenda and packet, hearing materials) Agenda Highlights: Hearings on Ken’s Foods warehouse expansion, 200 Turnpike Snow Removal/Landscaper facility; application for 26 Meadow Lane Approval Not Required for splitting of lots; 156 Northborough Road Site Plan Compliance; proposed Warrant Articles for Tree Bylaw and Scenic Roads; Recording Clerk Policy
  • Capital Planning Committee Meeting, 7:30 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Regional Capital Stabilization Article; Review Southborough schools and Algonquin capital plans including Algonquin water heater and Finn/Trottier parking lot; Updates on subcommittees and ARPA committee; FY22 Vehicle requests; Updates and votes on capital requests for FY23 including Newton Water Main, Road Maintenance, SPD tasers/body cams, ADA recommendations, and Breakneck Hill remediation; Space Study Needs next steps; Capital Project updates; Update on standing committee bylaw

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

  • Board of Health Meeting, 10:30 am (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Finalize Summary Report to Advisory; Potential Recommendation Regarding Municipal Employee Masking
  • Capital Planning Committee – School Research Subcommittee Meeting, 1:00 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Updates on MSBA SOI Neary School and Town Space Needs Study; Review of MSBA Cost Analysis; preparation for February School Committee meeting and communication to public
  • Library Board of Trustees Meeting, 3:00 pm (agenda and packet) Agenda Highlights: FY23 budget update; Library Page appointment; Town Space Usage report discussion; Interior Renovations update; Agenda requirements; Discuss Staff appreciation, Library Story Walk; Native Plant Garden update
  • ARPA Committee Meeting, 7:30 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Committee organization; ARPA guidelines; Next steps on Outreach and evaluation strategy

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

  • Personnel Board Meeting, 9:00 am (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Report on Labor Counsel meeting; SAP Revisions including Board of Health and Rec Dept Staff, Benefits; Budget Reconsideration
  • Advisory Committee Meeting, 7:30 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: FY23 Budget discussion including Council on Aging, Senior Center physical structure, and Water Enterprise Fund

Thursday, January 27, 2022

  • Conservation Commission Meeting, 7:00 pm (agenda and materials) Agenda Highlights: Hearings on Stormwater Management Permits for new homes at 71 Main St, confirmation of wetland boundaries at 8 Schipper Farm Lane, and Notice of Intent and SMP for Ken’s Foods warehouse expansion; Discuss with Fire Chief use of foam testing & practice at Public Safety complex; Requests for Certificate of Compliance for 11 Prentiss St and Stonebrook Court; 84 Main St Updates; Chestnut Hill Farm Management Plan; SMP Bylaw updates
  • Noise Bylaw Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Discuss Bylaw Outline; Schedule public forum and promotion

Looking Back:

Below is a meeting from last week that was posted after I ran last week’s list:

Friday, January 21, 2022

  • Economic Development Committee Meeting, 8:15 am (agenda, video) Agenda Highlights: Update on meeting with Board of Selectman liaison, Expression of Interest for One Stop Community Grant; EEA  Planning Assistance Grant Project Management; ARPA funding opportunities

*The Town intends to make each of its remote public meetings available for viewing/listening via streaming live (and saved) video and audio on YouTube with some available for public comment by zoom. Live streaming of school committee meetings is only available for viewing via webinars.

{ 0 comments }

Post image for “Chat” online with a Southborough Librarian

As I posted last week, the Southborough Library is closed to the public until Thursday. They asked me to let readers know that staff is still available to help patrons today through Wednesday. That’s thanks to the website’s “chat” feature

As they promoted in December 2020:

Chat flyerNow available through the Southborough Library website: LibraryH3lp Chat. This new instant messaging interface provides real-time communication with local librarians who are available to help you. If your question cannot be answered by staff remotely, they will refer you to someone who can help. We hope that you will take advantage of this fantastic new service and try it out this week.

Want to read more about it? Visit the library’s LibGuides section to learn more: https://www.southboroughlib.org/libguides.asp – or visit the library’s website and ask for the link via chat!

The service will put you in touch with staff in real-time weekdays from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. During those hours, the home page will feature a prompt offering “Chat with a Librarian”. The Library is promoting example uses including:

Whether it is a question about your library card, what to read next, or using our electronic resources and research databases, our staff will help you navigate all the library has to offer!

Outside of chat hours, the prompt will instead encourage anyone with questions to contact the Library. Links will lead users to staff email addresses but also encourage them to take advantage of the website’s searchable FAQs.

{ 0 comments }

Post image for Town’s consultants recommend use of Woodward as municipal building/community center and Town House as Library annex

Above: Described as “phase zero” of Town’s analysis, consultants studying the Town’s space needs and options recommended a plan to completely repurpose two Town owned buildings.

Last week, several Town Committees heard the results of a Space Needs Study conducted for the Town. Consultants reported options and their recommendation for how best to house Town Departments and services. The recommendation was for a project to reutilize municipal buildings.

Throughout the meeting, Capital Planning Committee Chair Jason Malinowski repeatedly stressed the importance of community dialogue and partnering with the Town departments to hash out any issues. He stated that it will take “significant public vetting and ultimately Town Meeting funding for anything more to happen”. 

Introducing the presentation, he cautioned:

the images, options, etc are very preliminary – and this should be considered a phase zero of any analysis.

Capital’s consultants then proceeded to walk through six options (plus one deemed not viable) before recommending one of them.

The recommended option (#7) is based on renovating the Woodward School building to repurpose it for municipal and community use. It would also repurpose the Town House, including using it as an annex for the Southborough Library.

Background

The Space Needs Study is a result of the Capital Planning Committee examining the Town’s near and long term capital expense needs. The recommendation is contingent on a project under the School Research subcommittee of Capital Planning and the School Committee.

In fall 2020 they began looking into the possibility of eliminating one of the four K-8 schools based on declined enrollments. Capital and Advisory committees were interested in potential cost savings. Superintendent Gregory Martineau said he wanted to reduce the number of school transitions for elementary students. They identified Neary as seeming to have the most potential for adding more students and Woodward as the most logical option for eliminating from the school inventory. (You can read more background here.)

The School Committee previously approved the administration’s submission of a Statement of Interest to the Mass School Building Authority to pursue a project related to Neary. As part of the process, the MSBA asked the Town to analyze what they would do with the Woodward building if they no longer used it as a school.

According to Keturah Martin, the School Committee’s rep on that subcommittee, they have also been looking into options for still pursuing a project if the MSBA timeline isn’t viable.** She said they will be reporting their findings to the School Committee on February 9th.

Recommendation

As for the specific recommendation by the consultant working for the Capital Committee, it calls for:

  • Renovating Woodward to relocate the Senior Center and all Town Departments (except for the Dept of Public Works, Public Safety and the Library) into the building
  • Relocating the Superintendent’s office for the public schools (currently housed at Neary)
  • Repurposing the Town House to use as an annex to the Library for the Library’s expanded needs (e.g., the Children’s Library and programs) and some shared conference room and storage use.
  • Expanding the DPW building (a step also shown in all other 6 options)
  • Disposing of South Union Building (a step also shown in all other “valid” options)* and Cordaville Hall (current location of the Senior Center)

DRA recommendation - Option 7 - use of Woodward DRA recommendation - Option 7 - use of Town House as Library annex

The plans were based on DRA Architects’ study of the Town departments’ current and future needs for square footage. They were designed to cover worst case scenarios for growth. They also took into consideration that some departments should be together for efficiency and some should be located in a central part of town.

Reactions

Stakeholder committees noted a need to reflect on the recommendations, discuss them, then come back with comments. However, there were some initial questions and concerns voiced. Below are some highlights.

Capital member Jeffrey Hark asked if DRA had researched the cost considerations for each scenario. Project Manager, Courtney Southwick said that they had only looked at the preliminary costs for the recommended option. There was a huge range of potential costs, since existing conditions of the building haven’t been investigated.

Hark said that weighing the cost of options should be a factor. DRA Principal Ken Best agreed with Malinowski’s assessment that repurposing the school would be at least 20-25% less expensive than building something new elsewhere to accommodate some of the Town’s needs.

The consultants said that no departments had objected to their assessment of the amount of space needed. But they acknowledged that there was “some concern” from the Library about splitting their space. They noted that a state grant process for a Library addition project could take 10-20 years. In the meantime, the Town House’s proximity was pitched as a “golden opportunity” for the Library to expand.

Library Trustee Amy Yazdani told the committee that Trustees would probably need to survey their patrons. She noted that splitting services would be difficult for parents of young children who would be forced to schlep them to multiple buildings. She opined it would be disheartening for a large group of their patrons. She also worried about the increase in staffing costs that would be caused by the split. Currently, staff members can cover multiple areas. 

Malinowski acknowledged that the Library annex concept would be one of the details that needs the most discussion with user groups and the community.  [click to keep reading…]

{ 5 comments }

Events this week: NSMA fundraiser, NSPAC Transition Workshop, and Art with Photography for Adults

January 24, 2022 09:18:52 AM
Thumbnail image for Events this week: NSMA fundraiser, NSPAC Transition Workshop, and Art with Photography for Adults

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

0 comments Read the full article →

Following up on the Southborough Schools and Extended Day partnership

January 21, 2022 11:49:45 AM
Thumbnail image for Following up on the Southborough Schools and Extended Day partnership

Southborough Extended Day Program and the administration of NSBORO schools appear to have reached some kind of compromise on a partnership.

0 comments Read the full article →

Covid Update: Have cases peaked in Southborough?

January 21, 2022 09:55:39 AM
Thumbnail image for Covid Update: Have cases peaked in Southborough?

While the numbers are still high, cases per week appear to be down.

0 comments Read the full article →

Blog Technical issue resolved

January 21, 2022 09:00:39 AM

It was a host issue and has been resolved. So, click away!

0 comments Read the full article →

Library closed next Monday – Wednesday

January 20, 2022 03:44:25 PM
Thumbnail image for Library closed next Monday – Wednesday

The Southborough Library is closing its doors to the public for three days next week. It’s to allow for the installation of new carpets.

3 comments Read the full article →

On the market this week in Southborough

January 20, 2022 12:25:22 PM
Thumbnail image for On the market this week in Southborough

What went on and off the market this week.

0 comments Read the full article →

Job listings: SOLF Admin; DPW Water Division Operator; NSBORO Director of Extended Day Program and IT Manager

January 20, 2022 10:16:59 AM
Thumbnail image for Job listings: SOLF Admin; DPW Water Division Operator; NSBORO Director of Extended Day Program and IT Manager

I received another posting of jobs available in Southborough.

0 comments Read the full article →

Town Meeting: Potential Articles, including Town and Citizen Petition Articles related to St Marks Street and Pocket Park easements

January 19, 2022 05:27:13 PM
Thumbnail image for Town Meeting: Potential Articles, including Town and Citizen Petition Articles related to St Marks Street and Pocket Park easements

The date and location for Annual Town Meeting has yet to be set. But the list of potential Articles on the Warrant have been.

4 comments Read the full article →