Comments (1)

  • Gary Anderson

    Thanks to the SBC for the opportunity to tour the new Hanscom school building, it is easy to understand the educational value of defined, yet flexible collaborative spaces. Some of these spaces at Hanscom were were obviously well used at present, and others seemed to currently be a bit underutilized, but ready and waiting for active future use. For building area calculation and cost estimating purposes, it could be challenging to understand how these spaces are accounted for in meeting educational program requirements. In the current conceptual design plans for Smith/Brooks School, some of these common spaces look like broad circulation space, which might increase the total building area above what is required for classrooms, teaching, office and support area program requirements. One can see how these loosely programmed building areas could increase as a designer tries to make these spaces useful to the adjacent classrooms while engaging with exterior views and access to outdoor learning spaces and the surrounding campus.

    Lincoln’s current school may have originally had some of these spaces embedded in and alongside circulation areas in the existing ’53 Lower school and to a lesser extent in the ’63 Middle School areas. Lincoln’s existing kindergarten and library/media center areas of the school likely need some space reprogramming, technical and code related upgrades, but they seem as nice as similar facilities in the new Hanscom School. Perhaps the planners and architects will evaluate the potential to locate some new collaborative learning spaces at the end of corridors (’55 wing) and in centrally located reprogrammed classrooms that could be selectively expanded outward from the existing building in more constrained sections of the existing ’63 & ’70 wings?

    The original ’48 building sits atop the troubled mechanical and boiler room and may make sense to totally rebuild and push and pull outward in areas and possibly upward in a second level (an atelier loft for the middle school that connects to the Library/Media Center’s soaring upper level space?) to become current and meet educational objectives. The conceptual design study now needs a focused alternative that creatively integrates educational vision objectives with serious financial impact analysis to make the best use of areas that may have continuing utility such as the Smith Gym, Kindergarten, Library, Reed Field House areas,

    Lincoln’s existing campus plan looks to me a bit like a quilt that has been thoughtfully stitched together over time to make the most of spaces that still have utility. I would think that a design alternative that is tasked with maximizing reuse of existing structures and expanding their utility while surgically adding facilities to meet current educational vision objectives could be consistent with the historic evolution of our school campus. Renovation costs can be as much as new construction especially when code upgrades are required, but it also results in reuse vs. demolition (a sustainable action), and thoughtful renovation combined with new construction can also be more flexible with regard to phasing. This approach doesn’t need to discard components that are already well designed and have continuing utility. Excited to see the designers newest concepts for a smart, attractive and financially responsible project for Lincoln.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions?

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