New Sandwich police station taking shape

Police hopeful of moving into newly renovated building on 6th Street this summer

New Sandwich police station nearing completion (David Petesch -

Sandwich police are hoping to move into their new station this summer.

Police Chief James Bianchi said the department has needed a new facility to replace its current station at 308 E. College St. for some time and for a multitude of reasons.

Cathedral ceilings and original light fixtures were left in place (David Petesch -

Bianchi said the current station has less than 5,000 square feet of floor space, and in addition to the lack of space, has problems with plumbing and its HVAC system, is in a less-than-ideal location and has outdated infrastructure and mold.

Originally constructed as a milk house for Sandwich-area dairy farmers, police moved into the building in the early 1970s.

“It wasn’t too healthy of a building,” Bianchi said, “It was never updated properly.”

Street view of new Sandwich police station (David Petesch -

In contrast, the new station, in a building that once housed a custom stair manufacturer at 1251 E. Sixth St., will have between 12,000 and 14,000 square feet of floor space, and Bianchi said it will allow the department to better facilitate its daily operations.

The station will have sufficient space for all current department employees and has room for expansion to accommodate the department’s growth for more than 50 years, Bianchi said. “It’s going to be great for our growth and fantastic for the community.”

Cubicles are being constructed for patrol officers (David Petesch -

The facility will have a cubicle-style bullpen for officers, offices for city officials, meeting rooms, a training area for presentations and space for other law enforcement agencies or community groups, such as the Scouts, to use.

The original plan was to construct a new station on a city-owned plot, but the estimated cost was $10 million, and City Council members determined that to be too high.

Bianchi then found the building on Sixth Street that the city bought along with a 2-acre adjacent plot for $480,000 in 2016.

Training room with space available for community groups and presentations (David Petesch -

To finance the renovations, the city sold $3.2 million in bonds, which will be repaid over a 20-year period.

Mayor Todd Latham said the bonds will be paid back with revenue from the city’s general fund.

For its new use as a police station, much of the building has had to be reinforced and stabilized. Bullet-resistant glass and reinforced steel were added to all entrances and exterior windows.

Floor to ceiling windows along the entire front corridor provide natural light (David Petesch -

The opening of a new police station has been among Bianchi’s top priorities for the department since coming to Sandwich in 2013.

Bianchi said the new facility is being designed with police operations in mind and will be much more efficient and secure than the current station.

nterrogation room with one-way glass and reinforced entrances to be installed (David Petesch -

“It was not just a bunch of stuff thrown into a room,” Bianchi said, “Everything is placed where it is for a reason, be it growth in the future or flow of operations.”

The building’s rear access is in the process of being reinforced and redesigned to flow with the order of operations for detaining arrested persons and to naturally follow the chain of custody for evidence.

Detention block for detaining prisoners (David Petesch -

The new station also will have an information technology room that will securely house all the servers, phone systems and other technology for the city, with cyber protection and fire suppression systems that the city currently does not have.

View from front door of new Sandwich police station (David Petesch -