City Council – 09/08/2015

DATE 09/09/2015
TIME 6:00 pm
LOCATION Council Chamber, Woburn City Hall, Common Street, Woburn, MA, United States

Meeting Agenda

Below is the pasted journal for ADA Compliancy. See attachment to download the full version.


SEPTEMBER 8, 2015 – 6:00 P.M.



Roll Call












Pursuant to Title III, Section 12 and Section 15 of the Charter of the City of Woburn, His

Honor the Mayor has called a Special Meeting of the City Council to be held in the City Council Chambers, Woburn City Hall, 10 Common Street, Woburn for the purposes of receiving an Order for a bond authorization in the amount of approximately $32,000,000.00 for the expansion, renovation and construction of the Woburn Public Library building.



VOTED to dispense with the reading of the previous meeting’s Journal and to APPROVE, all in favor, 9-0.



Motion made and 2nd to suspend the rules for the purposes of hearing from His Honor the Mayor Scott D. Galvin, all in favor, 9-0.



Appearing was Mayor Scott D. Galvin and he read the following communication dated September 7, 2015 to President Haggerty and the Woburn City Council into the record:


I am writing to convey my support for the renovation and construction of a new addition to the Woburn Public Library (WPL). Over the past nine months, I have had numerous meetings with the project manager, architects, library building committee and The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).


These meetings were cooperative, productive and resulted in a more clearly established final building size and scope—as required by the MBLC to receive the $9.9 million grant from the Commonwealth. The project cost for the much-needed rehabilitation and addition to the WPL is estimated to be $ 31,500,000.00. The remaining project costs will be reduced by an additional State Grant and a combination of Frizzell Trust Funds, existing funds raised, Massachusetts Historical Tax Credits, new fund-raising efforts, and building naming rights. The balance of approximately $13,500,000.00 would be covered by the City.  As is required, I am submitting a bond authorization for the entire project cost, which will be reduced by the above-noted funding sources.


A new library will invigorate and revitalize Woburn Center, preserve and expand this treasured community asset and meeting place, enhance cultural and artistic opportunities, and highlight our City’s strong commitment to educational opportunities and programs for all of our residents.


To that end, I am requesting that your Honorable Body review and approve the library renovation and construction bond appropriation to move forward with this vital investment in our community, which has been delayed and avoided for far too long.


I look forward to discussing the details of this important project.


Sincerely, Scott D. Galvin, Mayor


Mayor Galvin offered the communication dated September 7, 2015 and the following documents for the record: 1. An Order authorizing a bond in the amount of

$31,500,000.00 to pay the costs of designing, constructing and originally equipping an addition to the Woburn Public Library, that costs of remodeling, reconstructing and making extraordinary repairs to the existing Woburn Public Library building, and all other costs incidental and related thereto, in a form set forth hereinafter; 2. A draft Conceptual Project Budget in the amount of $31,487,831.00; 3. A schematic plan of the proposed addition and renovation; and 4. A report entitled “Woburn Public Library, Woburn, MA – August 17, 2015 – Schematic Cost Estimate Grand Summary” prepared by A.M. Fogarty & Associates, Inc. Motion made and 2nd that the documents be received and made part of the record, all in favor, 9-0. The Order read as follows:


ORDERED     That the City of Woburn appropriates the sum of Thirty-One Million , Five-Hundred Thousand Dollars ($31,500,000) to pay (i) costs of designing, constructing and originally equipping an addition to the Woburn Library, (ii) costs of  remodeling, reconstructing and making extraordinary repairs to the existing library building, and (iii) all other costs incidental and related thereto, and that to meet this appropriation, the Treasurer, with the approval of the Mayor, is authorized to borrow said sum under and pursuant to Chapter 44, Sections 7(3) and 7(3A) of the General Laws, or pursuant to any other enabling authority.  The total amount authorized to be borrowed pursuant to this order shall be reduced by (i) any grants received by the City from The Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any agency thereof on account of this project, and (ii) any other unrestricted grants or gifts received by the City from any other source on account of this project.


s/President Haggerty


Mayor Galvin stated that proposals for this project go back to the 1990s, that the city is eligible for a grant from the State in the amount of $9,900,000.00, that he supports moving forward with the project, that he has met with the architect and project manager, and that there have been cooperative and productive meetings. Alderman Drapeau stated that this is a well-deserved project for the community, and that with the grant and other revenue sources $13,500,000.00 will come from the tax base and not the full

$31,500,000.00. Alderman Gately stated the once the bond order is approved the project will have to move forward, and that he is happy with the project but not with the price. Alderman Concannon stated that this is a long overdue project, and that he supports the project. Mayor Galvin stated that the proposal is the smallest project the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners will approved to move forward with the grant, that the additional tax on taxpayers for the bond will be approximately $35.00 per year, that the bond payments will be $900,000.00 initially with increases in the middle years and then decreasing payments in the final years, that this will be a thirty year bond, that this is an affordable project for the city, that the city has the second best bond rating available, and that the project will cost money and increase taxes. Alderman Raymond stated that this project can work, and that he supports the project. Alderman DiTucci stated that the project addresses issues in the current building and offers a modern library facility for the city, and that she supports the project. Alderman Anderson stated that he appreciates the efforts of the Mayor to reduce the cost of the project, that the city could renovate the current building for $15,000,000.00 or construct the new addition for $13,000,000.00, that this project will be a showcase for the city and goes hand-in-hand with the new school projects, and that the city has $11,000,000.00 in free cash and $11,000,000.00 in the stabilization fund that could be used for bond interest payments. Alderman MercerBruen stated that she supports the project, that she has visited libraries in area communities and finds them to be vibrant places, that the libraries service their communities in a different way today, that she is concerned about the cost and potential overruns and wants to know how these issues will be handled, and that she wants to know the impact on parking in the area. Mayor Galvin stated that he has talked to the Woburn Housing Authority representatives about establishing a parking easement near the senior housing facility, that the City Engineer has drawn plans for a parking lot that could accommodate 100 parking spaces, and that this would provide a parking solution to the area. Alderman Gaffney stated that he appreciates the work of the Mayor and the Woburn Board of Library Trustees, that he supports the project, and that this project will be a good addition to the community. President Haggerty stated that there has been a team effort to get the project to this point, that the project will be a 21st century library, that the Town of Reading is renovating their library with a grant and fundraising paying for approximately 25% of the project costs while the grant and fundraising for the Woburn library will pay for approximately 50% of the project costs. Chris Coios, Project Manager, CBT Architects, 110 Canal Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114 stated that renovating the existing 19,000 square foot building without an addition would cost approximately $17,500,000.00 or approximately $750.00 to $800.00 per square foot, that they have inspected the original building with a structural engineer and a mechanical engineer, that there was some evidence of water leaks from the roof, that there is no evidence of structural deterioration, that they have access to the original building drawings, that the entire perimeter of the building is stone, that the ground floor will be elevated, that some ceiling joists in the basement will be removed to increase the height, that there are some asbestos pipes under the surface, that they will properly handle any lead paint, that most of the interior surfaces are wood without paint, and that there is no requirement to remove lead paint in a commercial setting. Richard Bertman, Principal, CBT Architects, 110 Canal Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114 stated that they have gone beyond the usual review to be certain that the budget will cover all costs, that they are confident in the cost estimate, and that they have worked on approximately ten of these old historic buildings including the Crane Library in Quincy which was also an H.H. Richardson design. Alderman Gately stated that he is concerned about unknown conditions that could impact the cost such as asbestos. Mr. Coios stated that the budget includes $145,000.00 for hazmat abatement. Alderman Gately stated that the addition will be constructed in the Groundwater Protection District, that they must be certain to handle the development accordingly, and that there are a number of utility connections that will have to be moved. Mayor Galvin stated that the city and the Library Trustees will be doing some of the work in the parking lot. Mr. Coios stated that the north side of the lot will have to be regraded. Mr. Bertman stated that the ground floor of the addition will be flush with the street, that the first floor of the addition will come in line with the current first floor, and that the lowest level comes in directly at grade with the existing basement. Mr. Coios stated that the service entrance will be at the west end of the building but there will be no loading dock, and that they will be breaking into the existing building at five principal locations in the existing alcoves and at the main circulation desk to the new circulation desk. Woburn Library Trustee Richard Mahoney stated that they are not certain where the library will move during the construction phase, and that moving and rental costs are in the proposed budget. Mr. Coios stated that no concerns were raised during the initial grant application regarding geological conditions which could affect construction. Alderman Gately stated that the larger building likely will increase staffing levels at the library. Alderman Drapeau stated that the addition has a lot of glass, and that he is concerned about the impact on heating and cooling the building. Mr. Bertman stated that the modern design of library buildings is to have more glass to encourage people to come into the library, that an earlier design of the addition had more glass than the current design but the amount of glass was reduced in view of weather conditions in the area, that the areas of the building visible from Pleasant Street have more glass to encourage patrons to visit the library, and that there is also a significant amount of glass in the courtyard near the back of the building. Mr. Coios stated that there will be separate mechanical systems for the old building and the new building in view of the differing requirements of the two buildings, and that there will be an up to date control system. Alderman Gaffney stated that he is concerned about punching holes into the old building in any way due to the historical nature of the building. Mr. Bertman stated that an earlier design was essentially two separate buildings however this required separate staffing of two libraries, and that the current design allows the library to operate with minimal staffing. Mr. Mahoney stated that there likely will be more staff required but the extent is not known at this time, that the Library Trustees will work with the Mayor and City Council regarding the need for additional staffing, and that the design allows security of the building and collection with the current staff and perhaps some increase. Alderman Mercer-Bruen stated that she is concerned about additional payroll, pensions, insurance and the like with new staff members and wants the library to encourage volunteers to assist. Mr. Mahoney stated that twelve years ago the staff level was approximately nineteen or twenty full-time staff members, and that there are currently five vacant positions from that number. Mayor Galvin stated that the sight lines in the building were established to allow for a smaller staff. Mr. Mahoney stated that he anticipates fundraising efforts will be enhanced once the city’s funding is approved, and that the project will take the children’s room out of the basement and create a better space for the children. Alderman Gately stated that he is concerned about noise levels of air conditioning units on the roof on the addition impacting the residential neighbors at the elderly housing building. Mr. Coios stated that full construction will take approximately sixteen months although eighteen months was stated in the estimate, that there is a benefit doing the project all together rather than sequentially of the new building then the old building, that this method speeds the construction process, that there will be security cameras, and that an acoustics consultant will assist with noise abatement of the air conditioning units. Motion made and 2nd to return to the regular order of business, all in favor, 9-0. Motion made and 2nd that the ORDER be LAID ON THE TABLE to the City Council Special Meeting on September 14, 2015, all in favor, 9-0.



Motion made and 2nd to ADJOURN, all in favor, 9-0. Meeting adjourned at 7:01 p.m.







William C. Campbell

City Clerk and Clerk of the City Council