Community Center Exploration Committee is asking for your attention

The committee is asking for the public to watch their meetings and provide feedback on community facility needs and ideas for solutions.

Above: A committee looking at possibilities for meeting the Town’s long term facility needs (including for offices and recreational programming) is asking the public to make sure they aren’t missing any considerations. (image from past Space Needs Study presentation on potential solutions)

The Community Center Exploration Committee asked me to share a letter they posted for the public.

The committee is charged with making recommendations for how to best meet the Town’s space needs. The letter’s main message is they are looking for public engagement to help guide their thinking.

Here is their letter:

Last year, the Select Board established the Community Center Exploration Committee to:

    • Review and understand the results and feedback received during the Capital Planning Committee’s Space Needs Study presented in January 2022;
    • Incorporate the potential needs of all town departments, boards, committees, and commissions that were part of the 2021 Space Needs Study.
    • Consider existing infrastructure, new construction, or renovation of existing infrastructure not currently owned by the Town;
    • Understand the financial constraints of the Town and bring forward one or more fiscally responsible plans to advance a project for further consideration by the taxpayers of Southborough, including consideration of a public/private partnership;
    • Options must consider at least one scenario where the Woodward or Finn School is available for reuse and another scenario where it is not available for reuse

The Committee was not fully appointed until this year and began meetings in February 2023. Representatives of the Library, Council on Aging, Recreation Commission, and Capital are members of the Committee as well as three members at large.

Because no committee can represent all facets of a community, we are asking for the active support of the Southborough Community in the following ways:

    • Please watch our committee meetings (currently being held on Zoom) and familiarize yourself with the buildings and group needs being reviewed.
    • Consider the formal and informal groups you are part of and inform the Committee of needs you observe are not being considered.
    • Let us know of ideas you have for the creative use of current assets or new structures.

The Committee members are:
Jason Malinowski, Chair (Capital Planning Committee Representative)
Timothy Fling, Vice Chair (Resident at Large)
Susan Heilman, Secretary (Resident at Large)
Janet Maney (Library Board Trustee)
Jennifer Hansen (Recreation Commission)
William Harrington (Council on Aging)
Nicki Mauro (Resident at Large)
Timothy Davis (Ex-officio, Recreation Director)
Ryan Donovan (Ex-officio, Library Director)
Pamela LeFrancois (Ex-officio, Senior Center Director)

Our updated charge is to make recommendations to the Select Board by the end of this calendar year, with an interim update by June 2023. We intend that our recommendations take into account the broadest view of the current and future needs of the Southborough Community. We hope you will support our efforts. We’d also encourage residents to follow the progress of the Neary Building Committee as the progress and steps that they take will directly impact some of the recommendations that come from this Committee. Further updates on that project can be found in the recent update letter.

Please direct any comments or questions throughout the process to Committee Chair, Jason Malinowski at or feel free to reach out to any other member of the committee that you may know.

We encourage you to share this message as widely as possible with any community groups that you may be part of.

The Community Center Exploration Committee

You can read more about the municipal space needs study and the reasoning for forming the committee in my past coverage here.

The committee’s next scheduled meeting is Monday night, May 1st. You can find agendas, past minutes, and their full charge here. You can find videos of the committee’s recent meetings on YouTube here

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