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Happy October! SBC Meets on Wednesday

Inside the Kindergarten classrooms.

The SBC will meet virtually on Wednesday, October 13th at 7:00pm. Meeting and Zoom details can be found here. Check out the new October photo gallery here.


SAVE THE DATES: STATE OF THE TOWN (VIRTUAL) MEETINGS

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1st, 7:00pm – 9:00pm

  • Public health update
  • School building project update!
  • Finance Committee update
  • Community Center discussion
  • Open Forum

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2nd, 7:00pm – 9:00pm

  • Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Anti-Racism (IDEA) Initiative update
  • South Lincoln Planning update
  • Climate Action Planning update
  • Open Forum

Learn more and register for the meetings on the Town website!

At Every Step…

…We are reminded that the school project is a complicated renovation. Along the way, lessons have been learned and are being applied to the second phase of construction. Here is one highly visible example:

When the Middle School was renovated, the existing exterior walls were preserved in many places. Because we are super-insulating the school, it was crucial to carefully apply a vapor barrier on the entire exterior of the building (a.k.a. building envelope). The project team quickly realized that the condition of the existing walls did not provide the high-quality surface needed for the vapor barrier to work properly. After several solutions were explored, the construction team decided to “parge” the exterior of the Middle School. Essentially, a skim coat was applied to the entire building envelope to create a smooth surface. This work required a lot of time and a significant dip into the project’s contingency funds.

That is why the exterior of the Primary School was demolished. New walls will be built incorporating the insulation and vapor barrier required to meet our sustainability goals. This meant using some contingency funds up front for the increase in demolition. The result will provide long-term value to the project.

What will it look like in a year? Looking at the shell and gaping holes in the building, it is hard to remember what it will look like when it is complete in the Fall of 2022.

  • The empty space where the original building was demolished will make way for the new main entrance, the Learning Commons, a new 3rd-grade classroom neighborhood, the central Administrative suite, and a new Media Center.
  • The remaining buildings will be renovated to hold grades preK-2.
Rendering of Learning Commons and Entrance
Outside Administrative Suite, looking into K-4 Science Room

More Information!

  • Click here to see demolition videos.
  • Click here to see the slide deck from the 9/13 SBC meeting.
  • Click here to see the September photo gallery.

Honoring Our History…(and this week’s meeting is on Tuesday)

Honoring Our History…Building Our Future. This statement has been at the head of every blog post since 2017, but how does it really relate to the project? Since the beginning of the project, the School Building Committee (SBC) has collaborated with about a dozen town boards and departments, and this work has helped to shape a project that serves our educational goals and advances the town’s commitment to sustainability, while reflecting the history of the building and the campus.

One of the SBC’s partners throughout the process has been the Lincoln Historical Commission (LHC).  The LHC is the town board that administers Lincoln’s “Demolition Delay Bylaw” (article XXI of the town’s bylaws) which requires every building project that includes demolition to meet with the LHC to determine 1) whether the structure has historical, architectural, or cultural significance; and if so, 2) whether the structure is “preferably preserved.” The LHC worked with the SBC to understand the architectural significance of the Lincoln School and to think about how to incorporate that history into the renovation.

To mark the transition from the first phase of the project to the second, we invited Andrew Glass, chair of the LHC, to write about the ways the renovated building pays tribute to its innovative history while creating a learning environment that will serve our students for decades to come.

Sunshades on middle school; view towards dining commons.

The Lincoln School:  Smith Building and Brook Building Complexes

Lincoln residents and architects Lawrence B. Anderson (1906-1994) and Henry B. Hoover (1902-1989) made significant contributions to Modern architecture in Lincoln.  Dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Anderson, with his firm Anderson & Beckwith, designed several buildings for the Lincoln School campus, including the Smith complex from 1947 through the early 1950s and the Hartwell building in 1957.  Hoover designed more than three dozen Modern houses and municipal buildings in Lincoln, including, in 1937, Lincoln’s first Modern house.  With his firm Hoover & Hill, Hoover also designed several buildings for the Lincoln School campus, including the three Hartwell pods between 1959 and 1964 and the Brooks complex between 1963 and 1964.  

The oldest part of the Lincoln School, the Smith Building complex was one of the earliest school buildings in the nation to incorporate Modern design principles. Architectural Forum recognized the innovative qualities of the complex in an August 1950 article, which can be found here. As noted by the Architectural Forum, these qualities include:

  • The transparency between the interior and exterior of the building achieved through the use of continuous bands of fenestration (windows); 
  • Careful attention to how daylight enters the building, including through use of a sunshield between the lower and clerestory windows, which served to shade the lower windows from low-angle morning sun and reflect light up to the interior ceiling through the clerestory; 
  • The use of long bar-shaped classroom buildings to create an encompassing gesture around the Center Field; and
  • The use of acoustical tiles to reduce noise reverberation in the classrooms. 

Hoover’s Brooks Building complex built on these Modern design principles.  In creating the auditorium, he used innovative acoustical “clouds” to help direct sound to the back of the theater.  Hoover was a master of integrating the landscape into his designs, which is reflected in the close connection of each classroom to the exterior and in the creation of a courtyard in the Brooks Building complex.

For the current project, architectural firms SMMA and EwingCole are restoring much of the Smith Building complex and all of the Brooks Building complex, working within the Modern design principles developed by Anderson and Hoover.  

  • Drawing on Anderson’s and Hoover’s legacy of the innovative use of technologies, the revitalized Lincoln School will be an all-electric, net zero building. To reduce heat load and solar glare in the classrooms, the design restores the use of sunshields as pioneered by Anderson.  The filtered light will also reduce the need to rely on artificial lighting within classrooms.  
  • Interestingly, because in the 1940s the Town chose to build a more costly gable roof rather than the shed roof proposed by Anderson, the Town opted not to build the dedicated cafeteria and kitchen that Anderson recommended.  The revitalized School has a dedicated cafeteria and kitchen for the first time, the design of which draws on Anderson’s legacy of using continuous bands of fenestration and clerestory windows to create connections to the outdoors and to provide abundant natural daylight within the building.  
  • Replacing the oldest portion of the Smith Building complex, the design for the new main entrance and Learning Commons also honors Anderson’s Modern design principles using transparent materials and sunshields.
  • Anderson’s gymnasium and Hoover’s classrooms with their innovative use of wooden beams will be restored for decades more use by students.  
  • Honoring Hoover’s legacy of innovative open-plan interior spaces and close connections to the exterior, the revitalized School contains “hub” learning spaces for grades 3 through 8.  Classrooms are arranged around a central common space promoting a neighborhood feeling among the teachers and students of a grade.  Easily-operable glass partitions between the classrooms and the hub allow teachers and students to create larger or smaller learning spaces to suit the needs of students’ varying learning styles and allow the landscape to be seen well within the interior of the building. 
  • The Dining Commons, Learning Commons, and Media Center will open directly onto outdoor terraces that will serve as outdoor learning spaces and community gathering areas during non-school hours. (Note: The construction of the Learning Commons in phase 2 required the demolition of the oldest Smith building. Click here to see videos showing the building before, during and after demolition!)
  • Finally, the School Project has restored the Auditorium, including the innovative acoustical clouds.  The Town will enjoy many years of comfort at Town Meeting and performances in the newly renovated space!

The LHC appreciates SMMA’s and EwingCole’s sensitive renovation of the Smith and Brooks buildings and the creative incorporation of Modern design principles into the revitalization project. – Andrew Glass

This week’s SBC meeting is being held on Tuesday, September 14th at 7:00pm via Zoom. Agenda and link can be found here.

Glass partitions in hub; view through to the outdoors.

School Tour!

Get ready for photos! On August 12th, SBC members were treated to a tour of the renovated Middle School. Building inspections were completed earlier in the week and faculty will be able to move into their classrooms starting on Monday, August 16th. The map below shows the tour route, and there are photos below that correspond to the numbered circles. More photos can be found in the August gallery. Slide deck from the August 11th SBC meeting can be found here.

SBC Tour Route on 8/12/21

Stop #1: Dining Commons

Stop #2: Kitchen

Stop #3: 5th Grade Hub Space

Stop #4: 7th Grade Neighborhood

Stop #5: 6th Grade Neighborhood

Stop #6: Auditorium

Stop #7: Connection between Auditorium and Reed Gym

Stop #8: Reed Gym

August SBC Meeting

Demolition work – looking east from the Smith playing fields.

The SBC will meet virtually on Wednesday, August 11th at 7:00pm. Agenda and Zoom information can be found here. The new August photo gallery is here.

Why the demolition? The oldest section of the building was demolished to prepare for the construction of the new 3rd grade wing, Learning Commons, and Media Center. The classrooms in the left of the photo will be renovated. The image below shows the floor plan of this section of the building.

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