Website Makeover! (and upcoming events)

Check it out! We’ve revamped the SBC website — the goal was to create useful categories, and to make information easier to find. Please let us know if it makes sense to you. Click here or use the “contact the SBC” item on the website’s main menu to tell us what you think.

Here’s what’s COMING UP in the next few weeks (public participation always encouraged):

  • Tuesday, February 13th:
    • 1:00pm: Project architects and Lincoln architects brainstorm about the project. Hartwell multipurpose room.
    • 7:00pm: SBC Meeting, Hartwell multipurpose room. The SBC will see additional renovation+ ideas plus a concept that meets the optimal program.
  • Wednesday, February 28th, 7:00pm: SBC Meeting, Hartwell multipurpose room.
  • Wednesday, March 7th, 7:00pmFocus on Sustainability — the team from SMMA and sustainability expert, Bill Maclay, will talk about the sustainability features/potential of different project concepts.
  • Tuesday, MARCH 13th: Community Workshops (2 sessions:  8:00am & 7:00pm, Reed Gym)
  • ANNUAL TOWN MEETING, Saturday, March 24th: Starts at 9:30am, Auditorium.

They may not agree on the best football team…

…but our design team (a partnership between SMMA, based in Cambridge, and EwingCole, based in Philadelphia) knows how to transcend regional rivalry and collaborate creatively on our behalf!

Here’s what they, and the SBC, are up to in the coming weeks:

  • February 7th, SBC Meeting: 7:00pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room
  • February 9th, Mini Workshop at Bemis Hall: 9:30am. Come see the latest iteration of project concepts! This will showcase work that has been done since the January 23rd Community Workshops.
  • February 13th, Drawing on Lincoln’s Architectural Resources: The design team and resident architects will meet to explore design ideas for the project concepts. 1:00pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room.
  • February 28th, SBC Meeting: 7pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room
  • March 7th, Focus on Sustainability: Sustainability consultant, Bill Maclay, and the design team talk about the sustainability implications of the range of project concepts. 7pm, Location TBA

All meetings are open to the public.

The results are in! Thank you to the 156 people who completed a feedback survey after the January 23rd Community Workshops! We are still going through the answers to the open-response questions, but here are some preliminary findings:

  • 77% of respondents chose the compact footprint as their 1st choice (estimated cost ~$89M)
  • 15% chose the comprehensive renovation of the current footprint as their 1st choice (~$88M)
  • 5% chose repair as their 1st choice (~$48M)

The full results will soon be posted on the SBC homepage at 

“The Industrial Age gave us the assembly line…

“…It also instilled the philosophy that education — and the school buildings where learning happens — needed to mimic that style of design, with facilities built around long corridors that file students into boxlike classrooms filled with rows of desks…But in the 21st century, education is moving away from the assembly-line mentality, encouraging students to collaborate, work hands-on, explore their environment, and continually engage with fresh ideas.”

—excerpted from How Architecture Boosts 21st Century Learning  Please take a moment to read this article from “The T74,” a non-partisan, non-profit site covering education in America.

The January 23rd Community Workshops presented a range of concepts for the Lincoln School project. Each concept would address the minimum needs of the school in order to comply with current safety, systems, and structural codes. The degree to which the infrastructure is upgraded, as well as the degree to which our 21st century goals are met, varies with each option:

So far, we’ve gotten feedback about the concepts from 119 community members and faculty — and we want to hear from you! Please click on the image to watch a video presentation of the five project concepts, and then click here to fill out the Survey Monkey feedback form. Responses are due by midnight, Friday, February 2nd.

More conversation…

  • Grab some friends and neighbors and join members of the SBC at Bemis Hall on Friday, February 9th, 9:30am! This is an opportunity to provide feedback and answer questions in an informal group setting.
  • Next set of SBC Community Workshops on Tuesday, March 13th!

Want to learn more about the relationship between design and 21st century education?

We’re looking for feedback…Have we heard yours?

Thank you to the approximately 125 community members who came to the January 23rd Community Workshops! It was great to see, and hear from, such a cross-section of the town. The workshops served as an important checkpoint as we collectively move closer to choosing a project and budget at the JUNE 9th SPECIAL TOWN MEETING.
If you were unable to attend, you still have the opportunity to weigh in — grab some popcorn, watch the video, and fill out your feedback form! Deadline to fill out the form is the end of the day Friday, February 2nd

Advance to a Chapter:
  • Finance Committee Presentation – 3:25
  • SMMA: Educational Programming – 12:35
  • SMMA: Context for Current Options – 19:13
  • Daedalus: Cost and Market Conditions – 24:43
  • SMMA: Current Options – 29:07
  • SMMA: Repair Only and Renovation Only – 31:27
  • SMMA: Option A1.1 – 35:11
  • SMMA: Option A3.4 – 39:51
  • SMMA: Option A6 – 46:22


Congrats, Pats! — Celebrate the win, then join the SBC on Tuesday!

Fast forward…It’s June 9, 2018, and you have dutifully arrived at the Special Town Meeting…What are you being asked to decide?…And how does that relate to the January 23rd Community Workshops?


On June 9th, we will come together to answer two questions:

  1. Do we want to build a mostly-new, more compact school, OR do we want to keep and renovate the current building?
  2. If we keep the current building, which level of renovation & cost provides the best value for our investment?

Once we have chosen a concept and a budget, the focus on design will begin.


  1. We will examine, question, and evaluate a full range of project concepts from repair to a mostly-new school. You can see a preview of the concepts here and current cost estimates here.
  2. The Finance Committee will provide a high-level overview of updated financial parameters.
  3. You will be asked to weigh in on which concepts you find most and least promising—this will help the SBC and design team focus their work.


  1. Although the drawings may look precise, we are still at a conceptual level. Site plans, the look of the building, etc. will come later.
  2. At this stage, cost estimates include multiple layers of contingencies.  The numbers will change as concepts are refined. The estimates give us an order of magnitude for each concept.
  3. Additional analysis and refinement of the baseline repair concept is underway, so that we know we have a firm understanding of the minimum investment required.
  4. The design team is working with sustainability expert, Bill Maclay, to analyze the energy and lifetime sustainability impacts of each concept.
  5. The graphic below provides a framework for evaluating our choices.
  6. We will continue to be transparent and inclusive in our process – please contact us with your thoughts.

SESSION #1:  8am – 10am, Reed/Brooks Gym

SESSION #2:  7pm – 9pm, Reed/Brooks Gym



In it Together

Have you been thinking about building layouts and drawing possible solutions? Do you wonder why the Lincoln School needs all that square footage? Are you trying to figure out why a “basic” project that was estimated at $30million 4 years ago, is now projected to cost $46million? Are you pondering how the heck we’re going to make all this work?
You are not alone — as members of the School Building Committee we are asking the same questions! And while we represent a diverse range of knowledge and interests, we do know that we cannot answer these questions or move this project forward without all of you.
What do we need from you? Engage with us! Upcoming January events:
Tuesday, January 9thCampus Projects: Framing the Cost/Value Conversation. The Board of Selectmen is hosting a multi-board meeting to talk about the kinds of information we, as Lincoln residents, will need to consider as we choose how to invest in the Ballfield Road campus. To make the information easy to find, the boards are putting together a consolidated briefing book. Click on Campus Projects Briefing Book to learn more. The multi-board meeting will be televised. 6:00pm, Donaldson Room, Town Offices.
Wednesday, January 10th: School Building Committee Meeting. The SBC will review the Lincoln School “program.” The term program refers to all the rooms/spaces/square footage needed to support education. The committee will also look at the full range of project concepts in preparation for the Community Workshops. 7:00pm, Hartwell multipurpose room.
Tuesday, January 23rd: Lincoln School Project Community Workshops. The design team will present project concepts, including cost estimates, ranging from a repair-only scenario through mostly-new construction. These are high-level concepts that will allow the community to look at benefits and trade-offs associated with different budgets. Come to one or both sessions:  8:00am and/or 7:00pm, Reed/Brooks Gym.

We Choose…

“We choose to go to the Moon! …We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win …”

President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962

As a Town, we always knew that developing a Lincoln School project would be complicated, and require a careful cost/benefit analysis of criteria and options. We are now at the heart of that process, and we need you.

The members of the SBC ask you to join us on January 23rd for a critical decision point: A series of 4 – 6 project concepts (and cost estimates), will be presented for your feedback. There will be two Community Workshops on that day — one at 8:00am, and one at 7:00pm, both in the Reed/Brooks Gym.

The goal? Help the SBC and the design team focus in on the most promising ideas.

Over the last few weeks the design team has developed and presented a number of very preliminary Lincoln School projects, ranging from basic code compliance, through renovation, to transformational, mostly-new designs. The cost estimates range from $45M to $95M. Please check out the following links:

Transformative Design Concepts 11/29/17

Renovation Concepts 12/13/17

Concept Cost Summary 12/13/17

Again, we need you to help focus the project! Please come to one of the Community Workshops on January 23rd: Morning session is at 8:00am, evening session is at 7:00pm, Reed/Brooks Gym.

ALSO:  On January 9th, the Board of Selectmen will host a multi-board* meeting to talk about how to structure the complex cost/benefit conversation that encompasses both the Lincoln School and Community Center projects. The meeting begins at 6:00pm, Donaldson Room, Town Offices. It is open to the public, and will be televised.

*Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Finance Committee, Capital Planning Committee, School Building Committee, and Community Center  Preliminary Planning & Design Committee

SOTT Feedback…Next Steps

You Like: hubs; dining commons; maker spaces; natural light; a mix of one and two-story spaces; good light and solar orientation; outdoor learning spaces; considering renovation as part of the solution.
You Wish: for environmentally sustainable solutions; to consider renovation options; to understand the costs of different project concepts.
You Wonder: about the pros & cons of renovation vs. new construction; about fields, traffic, pathways; and a range of other important topics!
Many excellent questions and ideas arose out of the feedback from State of the Town. Also, thank you to everyone who looked at the educational program concepts on the website and completed the Survey Monkey feedback form. Click “sticky note comments” and “I like, I wish, I wonder” to read compilations of the community’s input.
So what’s next? The School Building Committee shares the community’s desire and need to understand more about possible renovation solutions and about the relative costs of different approaches. State of the Town was a “big picture” opportunity to look at possible configurations for the educational program, and to get feedback from the Town about different locations of the Lincoln School on the campus. Now it is time to think about the project from the ground up.
Here’s how the SBC will focus its work over the next couple of months:
  • We will be working to understand the differences between the cost of primarily new construction vs. renovation. Given the various ages and conditions of different sections of the Lincoln School, renovation may be a good value in some areas and not in others. Click here to see a draft of SMMA’s “Existing Conditions Report.”
  • We are currently working on a baseline renovation project estimate and on a refined understanding of what such a project would need to include. It is important to note that the Lincoln School is one, roughly 140,000 sq. ft. building (despite our references to the Smith and Brooks Schools), and that all of it will need to be brought up to current life/safety, accessibility, systems, and building codes. As we were reminded at the November 15th SBC meeting, construction costs have, for a number of reasons, escalated at a rapid rate since 2012. If you are interested in seeing the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s latest data, visit
  • We will think about concepts that combine different ratios of renovation and new construction.
  • The SBC will evaluate project concepts on criteria that include educational value, environmental sustainability, impact on campus infrastructure (fields, roads, parking), up-front cost, and long-term value.
Save the Date: The next Community Workshop will be on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. A wide range of concepts, that include cost estimates, will be presented in detail. The SBC will need your input and guidance to evaluate which concepts are viable options for further development!
Remember—all SBC meetings are open to the public, and we want your engagement! The next SBC meeting is on Wednesday, November 29th, 7:00pm, Hartwell multipurpose room.

Show Us the Vision!

State of the Town
Group A, Option 2

At State of the Town you will get to see 6 exciting concepts for the Lincoln School! There will be a lot of information to absorb, and we will be asking for your initial thoughts and questions. So, we wanted to give you some time to look at the drawings and read the directions for the feedback activity. We look forward to seeing you at 9am on Saturday!
There will be 2 feedback activities at State of the Town: One focused on the Lincoln School, and one focused on the Community Center. These activities are important for both committees — they are intended to spark our imaginations, let us engage in creative thinking, and help our design teams better understand our community. The exercises will focus on site placement, building shape, and aesthetic preferences. They will not focus on square footage, cost estimates, or site elements (fields, parking, roads).
Goal for the Exercise:  Collect community members’ immediate “gut” reactions (positive and negative) to 6 possible shapes and locations for the Lincoln School.  This is not a vote — nothing is eliminated today, but ideas can be added!

State of the Town
Group B, Option 2

These are ideas for a mostly-new, or all-new building. This is intentional for today’s exercise.
The community has identified “support for educational vision” and “sustainability” as two core values.
The School Building Committee challenged the design team (SMMA/EwingCole) to think creatively and generate ideas for a building that fully embodies our vision for education and is true to our community.
Background & Context:
  • The Town has documented the needs of the Lincoln School building.
  • There is a well-articulated educational vision for our schools.
  • Project Focus:  A safe, comfortable, accessible building that supports and enhances education for our students, is a resource for the community, and is fiscally responsible.
  • The concepts are shown with the current site structure (i.e. no changes to roads, parking, etc.) Moving forward, concepts will be evaluated on how they maintain/improve the athletic fields, traffic flow, etc.
  • As you look/listen, consider the following:
    • What do you think about how the building sits on the site?
    • What do you think about the location of the “common spaces” (gyms, auditorium, kitchen, dining)?
    • Do you see different sized areas for small groups, large groups, collaboration, and projects (terms used may include “commons, hubs, and neighborhoods”)
    • Does the design provide good spaces for community and public use?
    • How do students move through the building? How close/far are the shared spaces?
    • How do you feel about a new/mostly-new building? What else would you like the SBC to explore?

State of the Town
Group C, Option 2

  • As you look at the drawings and/or listen to the presentation, use the feedback sheet to jot down your initial thoughts:
    • What have you seen or heard that you like? What sparked your interest?
    • What do you wish you had seen? or wish we could develop further?
    • What do you wonder about? What else should be considered? What questions need to be answered?
  • During the feedback session, visit the drawings posted on the Auditorium walls, ask the architects or SBC members questions, and write some more notes.
  • Hand in your feedback sheet — SBC members will collect them, or you can put them in the box at the back!
After State of the Town we will post an electronic version of the feedback sheet that you can fill out on
Thank you for being part of the process!