Sandwich Town Meeting Vote on Future of Wing School Unlikely this Fall

The Henry T. Wing School was built in 1927.

SANDWICH – The future of the former Henry T. Wing School in Sandwich will most likely be decided by town meeting voters in the spring.

The town received two bids for the property this summer after issuing a Request for Proposals.

Stratford Capital Group submitted a bid to purchase the property from the town for more than $1.25 million to develop the property into mixed-income senior housing.

The proposal would retain the 1927 portion of the building and demolish the rest and build affordable elderly housing for seniors at least 62 years of age.

The second proposal was from current leasee Cape Cod Collaborative.

The collaborative provides educational services for individuals with special needs and multiple handicaps. The organization’s alternative middle and high school relocated to the former Wing School in 2017.

The current lease runs through June 2020 and the organization is seeking to extend that to 2023 with an option through 2025 for $50,000 per year.

Town Planner Ralph Vitacco does not believe there will be enough time to put it before a fall town meeting. A Special Town Meeting has been tentatively scheduled for the end of October.

“We want to make sure that we properly vet both proposals to see which one would be most beneficial to the town,” Vitacco said. “We want to make sure we have enough time to do that. We don’t want to rush this.”

Vitacco said the goal will be to have an article to go before town meeting voters in the spring.

Town officials will present a recommendation for the future use of the property to the Board of Selectmen, which will decide if it will be put to a town meeting vote.

Town meeting in the spring would be the last chance for residents to vote on a use before the current lease for the property with the Cape Cod Collaborative runs out on June 30.

“Each group would know which one is going to be going forward,” Vitacco said. “Cape Cod Collaborative will have plenty of time to know if they are going to be moving forward, or not, or things just sort of stay the way they are.”

Vitacco said the proposals are very different and both have their merits.

“We just want to see which one will work best,” Vitacco said.

He said officials are excited that they have two strong options on the table.

“We just have to make sure those options work for the town of Sandwich,” Vitacco said.

a group has been formulated to look at which proposal meets the needs of the town best.

The Cape Cod Collaborative proposal said the school would be available to the town if there is an increase in the student population.

Stratford Capital cited current demographics which indicate an aging population and the upcoming need for more housing for seniors.

Vitacco said the town will be looking at two other Stratford Capital projects on Cape Cod – the Coady School in Bourne and the Simpkins School in Yarmouth.

Both proposals include the preservation of the historic 1927 building’s façade, which was a requirement from town meeting voters.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the CapeCod.com NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.



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