New athletic fields and one or more indoor athletic buildings may be built adjoining the existing town-owned golf course.
Assistant town manager Douglas A. Lapp said that construction of new athletic facilities on land next to Sandwich Hollows Golf Club is among the possible outcomes of an initiative to gather the opinions of Sandwich residents about available recreation in town.
Mr. Lapp said a public forum has been scheduled from 6 to 8 PM Wednesday, April 16, in the second-floor function room of the clubhouse at Sandwich Hollows.
The assistant town manager said the town also plans to offer a web survey to gain residents’ opinions about recreation in Sandwich.
“We want community input,” Mr. Lapp said.
If residents say they would like new fields and facilities—or if they want to improve the condition of existing, heavily used fields by adding new fields to the mix—Mr. Lapp said the town will look into siting new fields on town land next to the golf course.
Mr. Lapp said if residents are happy with town recreational facilities as they now exist, the town will not pursue the matter.
The town is working with a consultant, Gale Associates Inc. of Weymouth, on the initiative.
Mr. Lapp said the Sandwich Hollows golf course property purchased by town includes woodlands protected as conservation land.
But the assistant town manager said the existing course also possesses a number of vacant parcels that could be turned to recreational uses.
He spoke of an open 7.5-acre parcel where the course’s driving range once stood. Mr. Lapp said several fields and/or indoor facilities could be built there.
If a variety of recreational facilities are added to the existing golf course, Mr. Lapp said, the overall property could become a mutual destination for different members of the same family, with adults visiting the course restaurant or hitting balls at the driving range, adolescents competing in or watching games at the fields, and younger children playing on swing sets.
The town, he said, would prefer to make the vacant land available for leasing or licensing by organizations. The organizations, not the town, would build and maintain the athletic facilities.
The town’s least preferred method is to build any facilities itself.
Mr. Lapp also emphasized that the town does not intend to tear up the golf course to make way for new athletic fields, but instead will keep the course in operation.
A team of town officials has been working on the recreation initiative. They include Mr. Lapp, town planner Nathan Jones, town engineer Paul S. Tilton, recreation director Guy Boucher, golf director John Johnson, and assistant natural resources director David DeConto.
Mr. Lapp anticipates the town will use the community’s views to put together a Sandwich recreation plan sometime this summer. He said the town may move forward to lease or license land for athletic facilities by autumn.