The web link to the presentation by Lincoln-resident educators has been corrected. Please click here to see the corrected blog post.
First, some business…
Can we have it all for $85M? The SBC challenged itself and the design team to consider whether, for $85M, it is possible to have a compact, educationally transformative, energy efficient building that supports our current curriculum, accommodates our class size policy, and provides enrollment flexibility. How much square footage would we need, and what would be the trade-offs?
What are the educational differences between L2, L3, and C? A lot of the conversation in SBC meetings and in the wider community has been about understanding the educational (and cost) differences between these three concepts.
Current Educational Space Model vs Transformational Educational Space Model: All 3 concepts include a dining commons that creates a new, centralized “heart” of the school. The differences between the concepts are: 1) level of renovation; 2) amount of new construction; and 3) how the educational spaces are organized.
*Construction costs only include materials and labor – no site work, temporary facilities, escalation, design/engineering fees, or furniture and equipment.
Can we get all the educational benefits of L3 at an L2 price? The short answer is no. The level of renovation that is built into the L2 concept does not allow for the internal reorganization of grade levels. That is what keeps the price lower.
What about those hallways? There has been discussion about the amount of the school currently dedicated to hallways, and how that might change in a more compact school. Turns out that “apples and oranges” got tangled up in the same basket, and the 50,000SF vs 25,000SF information shared at recent meetings confused the total grossing factor (bathrooms, closets, hallways) with just the hallway space. The square footage needed to move people from one place to another is roughly the same for the L concepts and the C concept. However, what does change is the linear distance traveled from one location to another. For example, Kindergarten students currently walk about 600ft from their classrooms to art class. In the C design, that changes to about 375ft.
Click to see an invitation to Town Meeting:
In the building business, square footage = cost. What factors drive school size? Answers to some size FAQ’s are below, but first…
Thank you, DaDDa! The fabulous Lincoln band, DaDDa, performed at a “Rock the Vote” event on Saturday night at Bemis Hall. The event was to raise awareness about the importance of attending the June 9th Special Town Meeting. Kids and grownups had a great time dancing the night away! (DaDDa will also be appearing at Club Codman on May 19th – visit codmancommunityfarms.org to purchase tickets!)
Tuesday, May 15th: Community Forum! 7:00pm – 9:30pm, Reed/Brooks Gym
Monday, May 21st is “Back to School” Day! It’s a double-header – Here is your chance to ride a bus and see both the Lincoln and Hanscom Middle Schools in action! To visit one or both of the schools, please contact Janice Gross (firstname.lastname@example.org) by NOON on Monday, May 14th. If you are going to Hanscom, you must provide your full legal name (as shown on your license) and your date of birth. To gain access to the Base, you will need to travel with the group by bus.
If you just want to tour the Lincoln School, please let Janice know, and meet at the Smith office by 12:45.
~ A minimum of 10 people is needed to run the tour. ~
Size and Cost FAQ’s – Part 1 (During this final month, we will be increasing the number of blog posts per week to try to address as many questions as possible!)
What factors determine the size of a school? The primary factors are the number of grades, enrollment, class-size policy, the curriculum and programs offered, and the non-school requirements or uses of the building.
How many grades are in the school? Currently the Lincoln School houses grades K – 8. Ideally, the School Committee and Administration would like to move the pre-school out of the Hartwell building into the Lincoln School, which is reflected in concepts L2, L3, C, and FPC (updated cost summaries are here).
For what enrollment are we planning? The SBC is planning for 660 students. This figure was validated by our work with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) in 2012.
What is the Class Size Policy? The Lincoln community strongly values a low student:teacher ratio. Click here to see Lincoln’s Class Size Policy.
What is the Lincoln School curriculum? Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, World Languages (starting in 3rdgrade), Art, Music (including band, orchestra, and chorus), Drama, Wellness, Library/Media, Technology, and Engineering form the core of the curriculum. The curriculum is supported by literacy and math specialists, special educators, occupational and physical therapists, counselors, and social workers. The school also offers after-school middle-school sports teams. Visit the Lincoln School website for more information.
What are the “non-school” (community!) requirements? We are a one-school-town, and the Lincoln School serves the entire community in many ways. As a result, and because we do not have a high school within our town, we have facilities that are larger than those found in a typical elementary or middle school.
Stay tuned for “Size Matters, Part 2” that will go into square footage details!
MONDAY, MAY 21st – Tour both the Hanscom Middle School (HMS) and the Lincoln School in one day!
Deadline to sign up is NOON on Monday, May 14th!!!
Here’s your chance to see both schools! The tour starts with a bus ride to Hanscom from Hartwell, followed by lunch back in Hartwell and a tour of the Lincoln School.
Here’s how it works:
If you’ve already seen HMS, but want to tour the Lincoln School, meet at the Smith office by 12:45.
~~Deadline is NOON on May 14th!!!~~
To go on the tours, you must contact Janice Gross, Assistant to the Superintendent, and provide your full legal name (as shown on your license) and your date of birth. Email: email@example.com
A minimum of 10 people is needed to run the tour.
Last week’s blog post addressed the following frequently asked questions:
With the recent discussion about school costs, here is some additional information:
What are construction vs total project costs?
Construction Costs = Materials + Labor utilized in the renovation/construction of a building.
Total Project Costs = Construction Costs + Architectural and Engineering Fees; other Professional Fees; Site Work; Temporary Facilities and Phasing; Fixtures, Furniture & Equipment (FF&E). This encompasses every aspect of the project.
How are cost estimates determined at this phase? We are currently in the first of 6 phases in the building process. At this preliminary concept stage, school construction costs are estimated in a straightforward way: the size of the building (square feet) multiplied by a cost estimate per square foot (cost/SF). For projects such as ours that include renovation, there are different costs/SF depending on whether a space is getting light, medium, or heavy renovation.
(Click here to see the different levels of renovation included in each of the six Lincoln School concepts.)
At this point in the project the following contingencies are included in the total project cost:
As the project goes through the next “schematic design” phase, the costs will become more precise, and the contingencies smaller.
How does this compare to similar projects? When benchmarking against other projects, it’s very important to look at when (and in which state) they were built. Construction costs have risen significantly over the past decade. Because of the information gathered by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), the per-square-foot costs to build schools in Massachusetts are well understood. Click on the image to explore the MSBA’s interactive graph of recent, current, and future projects. Remember – the graph shows construction costs, NOT total project costs. The projected range for FY2019 construction costs is $410-530/sf (with an outlier for an arts academy at $630/sf — overachievers!)
Why have costs risen so much? Construction costs are rising because we are fortunate to have a relatively healthy regional economy, which drives demand for new buildings. Increased demand for new construction in areas such as Kendall Square and the Seaport District, has driven up the rates for the limited resources for materials and labor in our area. Because of this, the costs we are showing for Lincoln School project (which will not start until Spring 2020), include a 5% annual escalation cost
Are the Lincoln cost estimates in line with other projects? Here is a table outlining the construction and total project costs. They are well within range of the projects shown on the graph above.
* In 2008, Lincoln passed the Town Facilities Energy Performance Standard. In order to meet the goals of the standard, these concepts have the potential to made fully sustainable, or “net-zero.” To do so, the up-front total project costs change to: L2 @ $85M or $537/SF; L3 @ $94M or $569/SF; C @ $97M or $634/SF.
While we do have some leeway on per-square-foot costs within a range, it’s very unlikely that we’ll find a way to build a school that’s substantially cheaper (on a per-square-foot basis) than any other area school built in the last 5 to 10 years. To see further history of MA school projects (including the Lincoln 2012 project), here is MSBA data prior to 2014, and for elementary and middle schools after 2014.
Why is the basic repair so much?
We have a school in dire need of repairs and systems overhauls.
What is the impact of a building project on education? In this short video, you’ll hear some of our Lincoln School faculty talk about the current building.
How do hubs and common areas change teaching and learning? Hanscom Middle School faculty talk about the impact of the new (2016) building (note: break-out spaces = hubs in this video). Click here to see photos of the building in action. And for insight into how the HMS administrators and faculty prepared for their move into the new building, watch the May 26, 2016 School Committee meeting (fast forward to the 1 hour 43 minute mark).
Are we building an all-new school? No! All of the concepts renovate the Auditorium and the Reed Gym. Five (5) of the 6 concepts (including the “C” or “Compact” concept) renovate the Auditorium, Reed Gym, and the Library link. Only the Full Program Concept (which has not been actively developed due to cost) considers demolition of the Library link.
What do the cost estimates include? The cost estimates for the 6 Lincoln School concepts are for the total project cost of the school. The estimates include: materials, labor, architectural design work, engineering, construction management, site work, permits and fees, escalation costs (to account for the fact that the project wouldn’t break ground until 2020) and FF&E (furniture, fittings, and equipment). At this conceptual phase of the project, there are many contingencies built into the estimates. After we choose a concept at the June 9th meeting, the project will go into the “schematic design” phase. At the end of that phase, the design work will be 20% complete, major systems and materials will be chosen, and we will have more detailed cost estimates that will allow us to bond the project (fall 2018). To read more about project phases, visit the FAQ home page.
How do our cost estimates compare to other school projects in Massachusetts? The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) keeps track of the projects it funds. Click here to see an interactive graph that compares the costs of projects when they are in schematic design to the actual construction contract bids. Please note, this is a comparison of “construction costs” NOT “total project costs.” When looking at the graph, note that the estimated construction costs for the 6 Lincoln School project concepts range from $283/SF to $497/SF. Other MSBA data on recent school projects can be found here.
How can I learn more? There will be a 2-part multi-board meeting on Monday, April 30th in Hartwell Pod B.
What are the plans for the site? The design team will be talking about roadways, bus and car traffic patterns, bike paths, sidewalks, and parking at this week’s SBC meeting. Please join us on Wednesday, April 25th at 7:00pm in the Hartwell multipurpose room.
About 150 community members attended the April 10th workshops (Thank you!). After learning more about the six concepts currently being considered, table groups were asked to brainstorm with each other and come up with two they definitely thought should be brought forward for the vote on June 9th. Here’s what they said: Feedback from April 10 Workshops
The Special Town Meeting on June 9th is fast approaching, and the School Building Committee has scheduled a number of events to give the community as much opportunity as possible to learn, question, and discuss the options before us.
The next SBC meeting is on April 25th at 7:00pm, Hartwell multipurpose room. Included on the agenda is a discussion of site considerations: traffic patterns, bus pick-up/drop-off, parking, sidewalks, and bike paths. On April 27th at 1:00pm, the Council on Aging is hosting an information session about property tax mitigation programs, and on April 30th at 6pm will be a multi-board meeting to 1) talk about costs; and 2) prepare for June 9th. Below is the calendar of SBC meetings and outreach events in May and June (click on the image to see a full-sized version). The public is invited to any and all! Feedback always welcome at SBC@lincnet.org.
We now have 325 subscribers to the website! If you’re one of them, thank you (and please forward this email to your friends and encourage them to sign up)! If you’re not, please visit www.lincolnsbc.org and enter your email address into the “subscribe” box.
…what is the right number of choices?
Currently there are 6 school concepts under consideration, ranging from $49M to $115M, and offering different levels of transformation of our educational spaces.
How would you narrow it down? We need you to help us answer that question on April 10th! (two workshop sessions: 8am & 7pm, Reed/Brooks Gym)
Why attend? What are we going to do?
A bit of history…
What are your friends and neighbors thinking about the Lincoln School and Community Center projects? Here are the comments that were collected at Town Meeting: Town Meeting Feedback
SAVE THE DATES:
APRIL 10th: COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS, Two sessions! 8:00 – 10:00am and 7:00 – 9:00pm, Reed/Brooks Gym. These are joint workshops with the Community Center committee (CCPPDC).
APRIL 30th: MULTI-BOARD MEETING, 6:00 – 7:30pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room. Update on the Campus Projects Briefing Document; Planning for the June 9th Special Town Meeting.
APRIL 30TH: UNDERSTANDING COSTS, 7:30 – 9:00pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room. The Finance and Capital Planning Committees are hosting a meeting to discuss project costs. What do project costs include? What are the current market conditions affecting building costs?
About 700 Lincoln voters attended Town Meeting yesterday! Of those, 120 filled out the Campus Projects Feedback Form, and 110 answered Question 1 (please refer to the feedback form below). Here’s what they said:
If you did not have the opportunity to respond, please contact the SBC with your comments/questions (this will be a private message), or click the “comments” button at the end of this post (this will be a public comment).