Sandwich Assesses Options with Former Santander Bank Site

SANDWICH–Sandwich officials are assessing options moving forward with plans to convert the former Santander Bank building along Route 6A into offices.

At a recent meeting with selectmen, Town Manager Bud Dunham mentioned that initial projections for the costs were higher than expected. He said that he wants to ensure everyone in the town is on the same page in the future.

“The goal after speaking with all of you individually was: try to find a way to go to Town Meeting with hard construction bid numbers, so if we have to take votes to come up with extra funding, we’ll be basing it on real numbers, not speculation or estimates,” Dunham explained.

Dunham outlined plans to get the projected costs down by reducing the scope of work at the site. The town will ask for “bare bones” needs, then detail additional renovations if the budget allows for them.

Projected costs are slated to go down by taking measures such as reducing the number of spots in the already expanded parking plan. Dunham said investigative work was completed to see what could be done “in house” with town resources, like paving and drainage work.

Two of the biggest issues with the building that need to be addressed, according to Dunham, are the HVAC and electrical systems.

“The electricity to the building’s great,” he continued.

“It’s just, once it gets inside, it’s 1970 vintage in a modern system with computers and everything else. We need to upgrade some of that.”

Dunham noted that he wants plans to be finalized by the end of the month so that bids can be due in early March. From there, a special Town Meeting could be scheduled in late March to consider allocating more funds from other town sources to complete the project.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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