Getting Caught Up

On Wednesday the School Building Committee hosted two Community Workshop sessions. There was a great cross-section of the community represented both in the morning and in the evening, and we thank everyone for making time during what is always a hectic week!

The presentation focused on six main areas of the project: the floor plan (where are all the rooms?); the new flexible hub spaces in grades 3 – 8; the central entrance & Commons; the site (how do we make cars, cyclists and walkers all happy?!); sustainability; and phasing (where does everyone go while we’re renovating?) Click here to see the slides from the presentation. Video of the Workshop is available at

At the next SBC meeting on September 12th, the committee will sign off on the schematic design and send the plans to the cost estimators. This does not mean that all the design work is done – the details are fleshed out during the design development phase (which comes after the December bond vote) – but this current phase establishes the major design and construction components of the project.

Outreach Events: Couldn’t make it to the workshops? Take the opportunity to talk directly to SBC members at these two upcoming events:

  • Thursday, September 13th – PTO Welcome Back Picnic, 5:00 – 7:00pm, Codman Pool parking lot.
  • Friday, September 14th – Bemis Hall, 1:00pm


Framing the Cost-Benefit Analysis: Multi-Board Meeting Recap

On January 9th, the Board of Selectmen hosted a multi-board meeting to talk about how to set the context for decisions about the Lincoln School project and a community center project.

The ultimate goal is to make well-informed, rational, and forward-thinking decisions that benefit the town and hold up under future scrutiny. Doing so requires that we all engage in a complicated and nuanced cost/benefit analysis.

Those at the meeting reviewed a draft of the Campus Projects Briefing Document, which outlines questions that need to be answered in order to evaluate the projects choices that will be put before us.  This is a living document that has been updated to reflect ideas heard at the meeting.

Also at the meeting, the Finance Committee and Capital Planning Committee provided answers to some of the questions being raised.  A few take-aways:

  • The Town should be able to borrow up to $100 million and still retain our AAA bond rating (the best rating), assuming that we formalize some management policies and keep adequate cash reserves going forward. Note this is not a recommendation on whether we should or want to bond that amount.
  • For a median property (median house value is $972,200), property taxes will rise by about $275-$310 for each $10million borrowed.
  • Lincoln’s debt service vs. operating budget ratio is currently low, and will remain within a tenable range for total borrowing of up to $100 million.
  • The campus projects are the largest capital projects on the immediate horizon. Click here to see CapCom’s January 9th Slides, which give more information about capital project history and those on the horizon.
  • You can watch the entire meeting here.
As always, please visit to learn more – and pass this message on to a friend!

Thank you…

State of the Town
Group A, Option 2

State of the Town
Group C, Option 2

…to the roughly 250 people who spent their Saturday morning at State of the Town!
If you weren’t able to make it, or you were there and would like further opportunity to weigh in on the Lincoln School concepts or the Community Center’s character-study photographs, you still have time! Responses will be collected through Friday, November 10th.
Lincoln School Initial Concepts:  Click here to see the concepts and to fill out an “I like, I wish, I wonder” feedback form.
Community Center Photographs and Survey: To see and weigh in on the character-study photographs and the wishlist survey, click here.
In the next few days, you’ll be able to watch the video of State of the Town here.

The Ultimate Group Project

What makes a group project successful?  Our students can tell you that group work is most productive and exciting when innovation and inclusion are valued, and when members come with ideas, specific knowledge, and a willingness to ask probing questions. As a community, we are engaged in just such a process!
How Can a Building Support our Educational Vision? October 17th Community Workshop: Superintendent Becky McFall, and educational planners from SMMA and EwingCole will lead two workshop sessions (8:00am and 7:00pm) focused on how architecture and design support educational goals. They will share the priorities expressed by our educators during an all-day visioning sessionheld September 28th, show examples of other schools, and engage the community in discussion about specific concepts and educational spaces. Join us at 8:00am AND/OR 7:00pm, Brooks Gym.
This Week: On Wednesday, October 11th, the SBC and members of the PPDC will learn more about community priorities through a series of short presentations from the Historical Commission, Public Safety, the Planning Board, the Green Energy Committee, the Conservation Commission, and the Commission on Disabilities. Added to previous presentations from Parks & Recreation and the Water Commission, these conversations will help the SBC, PPDC, and the community understand the complex series of opportunities and issues that must be balanced as work moves forward. Join us at 7:00pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room.
Recap of October 3rd Workshops: Last Tuesday, more than 130 community members came together in the Brooks Gym for interactive sessions aimed at exploring the future of the Ballfield Road Campus. The sessions were facilitated by the architecture firm SMMA, which in partnership with EwingCole, was hired by the School Building Committee (SBC) in August. In addition to the design team, members of the SBC and the Community Center Preliminary Planning and Design Committee (PPDC) were there to listen and learn from the professionals and the community.
Both the morning and evening sessions featured information-sharing and gathering as SMMA used five possible campus configurations to generate discussion and to more deeply understand Lincoln’s collective priorities for a revitalized campus, one that will cohesively accommodate a preK-8 school and possibly a community center on one site. Echoed continuously by both the community and the architects was a commitment to preserving the unique character of our campus, while at the same time defining a forward-looking vision that improves the campus experience for students and Lincolnites of all ages for years to come. Missed the workshops?  See the video of the evening session here.