The Board of Selectmen will be asking Town Meeting voters permission to sell two buildings: Fayville Hall and the former, secondary Fire Station.
Also in discussion was the South Union School Building. If voters approve, the home for Southborough Recreation will also house Southborough Youth and Family Services.
The board agreed that the aging South Union may make sense to sell. But most believed that it is something for the future, after development of a longer term facilities plan.
Chair John Rooney summarized:
Although the South Union Building may have survived the chopping block. . . this evening, it’s future as a Town-owned building is tenuous at best.
The board was in agreement that a facilities plan is needed. But the disposition of Fayville Hall and Station #2 were considered no-brainers.
The board didn’t discuss the Fayville Hall’s historical value. (Something that was debated among selectmen in six years ago.)*
Instead, selectmen agreed that maintaining the building is a waste of Town money. Rooney said that the board has an obligation to show residents that they are managing money responsibly.
Fayville Hall’s operating costs are currently paid for by Southborough Access Media. That is set to end after SAM relocates to Trottier Middle School in September. That would leave only 2.5 employees of SYFS in the building.
Town Administrator Mark Purple reported that the building continues to have water issues in the basement and has a failing septic system.
The plan calls for consolidating the property with the abutting Town-owned parking lot for better sale value. Town Meeting voters will be presented with appraised values for the individual and combined properties.
Voters will also learn the appraised value of Station #2. The building now houses Public Works equipment. The facility is heated, allowing DPW employees to fix equipment in the winter.
DPW head Karen Galligan estimates that replacing it with a pre-fab building on the department’s main property would run $30-35,000. In contrast, the station’s assessed value is $359,000.
Purple acknowledged that he isn’t sure how viable the property is on the market. (In past discussions, Galligan mentioned that septic was removed due to issues there.)
The property that the board sees as most valuable on the market is the South Union Building. Purple envisioned use as condo units, especially given proximity to the Commuter Rail.
Selectmen Brian Shea and Dan Kolenda were both interested in looking at plans for building a new recreation facility in town that could allow for more programs including indoor sports.
Purple began the talk by reminding selectmen that while they had created a committee to come up with a Town property plan, they never appointed anyone.
Other issues facilities issues that Purple advised looking at was improving floor plans at the Town House and Cordaville Hall (Senior Center). Rooney also recommended looking at investing in accessibility to the top floor of Cordaville Hall.
Town Clerk Jim Hegarty addressed the issues he has with records storage at Town Hall. While he is looking at a project for scanning records, they are now “bursting at the seams with paper”. He pointed out that the storage has no heat or cooling control.
Rooney responded that Harvard has that in their building in town. He said that they indicated willingness to work with the Town. He urged Hegarty to reach out to them.
*A February 2010 Metrowest Daily News article chronicled two of the three selectman Bill Boland and Sal Giorlandino arguing to protect the historic property. Referring to its use as a WW1 hospital, Boland stated that “the history is something we can’t sacrifice.” Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf was the dissenting vote. At the time, Town Adminstrator