News & Views




by Mark Snyder


Superintendent of Schools Dr.Richard Canfield and Director of School Facilities Alan Hall gave the Sandwich Finance Committee an update on the School Department at their October 7th meeting at Town Hall.


THE STATE OF THE STADIUM: The football field artificial turf is in place inside the new track, and the stadium lights should be up any minute. There is no seating there, however. The press box has also not been started yet.


THE STATE OF THE POOL: Town Meeting gave the School Department 980,000 for repairs to the Sandwich High pool. According to Hall, the project is 75% complete. The new HVAC is on the roof. The duct work is done. New gas and electric meters have been installed. Final cost was $713,000 for HVAC work. $54,000 for design fee. $144,000 for the grout, tile, etc. Hall and Canfield said the pool should be completed and open by the time the Sandwich High School Swim Team begins its schedule, the Monday after Thanksgiving. They will be replacing the handicapped access chair. All the painting will be done in-house at a cost of about $50,000. Scott & Deb Melanson donated $25,000, which paid for starting blocks and lane lines, as a memorial to their son. Canfield said the pool is a "second teaching station, for submersible robotics." He said they'd be adding underwater cameras, physical education, and special needs classes there, but they are in a planning phase.


THE STATE OF STEM ACADEMY: Dr. Canfield said that "strategies that engage minds" are in place. He said, "it's all about the team," and said enrollment was higher than expected. "As of October 1, we have a total of 521 students in STEM. There are 260 students in 7th grade, so we've created two teams of 130. We have a waiting list for school choice. We're also being careful with 5th and 6th grade enrollments, to try to limit future STEM overcrowding. We're holding off until next year for new configurations, with the K-2 and 3-6 break downs."


THE STATE OF $650,000 REPAIR ARTICLE: Town Meeting passed a $650,000 article for replacement of leaky windows at the high school. They came in at $189,000, including Thompson's waterproofing. The design was $50,000. They were able to address leaks in the atrium in the cafeteria, that had caused some interior damage. The remainder of the $371,000 left was used to complete STEM A Wing Renovations at Sandwich High School, where enrollment is now over 1300.


Hall sad that maintenance of buildings, and the pool, cost the town a lot of money in repairs. He wants to keep up the maintenance for the pool, estimated at about $10,000 per year, in a revolving account. He and Canfield are trying to determine the amount of funds needed to operate the pool, and to try to charge the public a fee for use that may help them pay for the cost of the pool. That is currently under study.


THE STATE OF THE WING SCHOOL: Hall said that the move of the elementary grades to new schools went smoothly, with "an everybody doing an great job on renovations and moving." Canfield told us, "None of us want to see the Wing School become an eyesore. We're looking to have a conversation with Mr. Dunham and the School Committee about what to do with the building. It's not going to be a school any longer, but it will still be on our register. We'd like to work together on a firm and final decision on what will happen with the building, and the field there. We won't just walk away." Dunham added that he'd be "hiring a firm to give us advice on the feasibility of the future of the building."