Sandwich Library Seeks Temporary New Home

This architectural rendering shows what a relocated and renovated children’s area might look like at the Sandwich Public Library.

The town is looking for a temporary place to house the public library so a $3.5 million transformation of the library’s Main Street building can begin this fall.

“The Town of Sandwich is hereby requesting proposals from property owners in the Town of Sandwich and surrounding towns for temporary space to accommodate the Sandwich Public Library during the construction of a new facility,” says a legal ad published Friday, May 15, in the Enterprise.

Specifically, the town is looking for a space with 4,000 to 9,000 square feet of usable floor area, according to the specifications of the request for proposals drawn up by Pomroy Associates, the town’s project manager for the library renovation.

The preferred space would be on a ground level, accessible by people with disabilities, and capable of supporting 150 pounds per square foot, the RFP says. It must be cooled and heated, provide at least two restrooms and provide at least 25 parking spaces.

“It is estimated that the subject space must be available as early as October 1, 2020 and the town speculates that the subject space will be needed for approximately nine months,” the RFP says.

Preferred properties will be evaluated on several criteria, including location and ease of access; size and functionality of space; safety and street presence; utilities, phones, IT and cable capabilities; availability of space; agreement terms; and cost.

Sealed proposals must be delivered to the town manager by Friday, June 5, the RFP says.

Under additional information, the RFP says the town will consider making improvements to the leased property to accommodate the library’s operations. It also says the town would like to be apprised of the nature of neighboring businesses.

“The town would be interested in knowing the types of businesses that the potential library would be co-mingling with,” the RFP says.

There have been rumors that the town was looking at a portion of the former Henry T. Wing School for temporary library headquarters, but Town Manager George H. (Bud) Dunham has said repairs to make the space safe enough would probably be prohibitively expensive.

In a related matter, Library Director Joanne Lamothe told the library trustees this week that the architect had completed design work on the renovations and she is awaiting project review of the detailed mechanical, electrical and plumbing specifications.

Ms. Lamothe said she would come back to the trustees when architectural details, color palettes and furniture are being considered.

“When it comes to [design elements] that affect the look and feel of what we’re trying to provide, I’d like the board of trustees to be in on that,” Ms. Lamothe said.

The library, which is at 142 Main Street and has not been redesigned since the 1980s, will be renovated into a technology-friendly building with inviting, uncluttered rooms filled with light and open space.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the $3.5 million project at a Special Town Meeting last fall.

The renovated library will include a new space for the archives, enlarged meeting spaces and a larger children’s room. The children’s room windows will overlook the forest and bins of books, rather than the stacks, to make it easier for children to browse the collections.

The work—and the moves out and back in—are expected to be completed within a year after the start of construction, Ms. Lamothe said this week.