Rule #10…Revisited…

“It never gets easier, you just go faster.”  

– attributed to Greg LeMond, Rule #10, http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/

You may remember this cycling quote from our blog post after June 9th…It is equally appropriate now! Given all that will get accomplished between now and the end of April, it is the perfect message to get the SBC and design teams through the work ahead! So, once again, grab a power bar, fill your water bottle, and get ready to shift gears – here we go!

Welcome Consigli!

Consigli was chosen as the project’s construction team.  Since we are using a “Construction Manager at Risk” model, Consigli is now on board and part of this new phase, and they will see the project through to completion. Dave Curry, Director of Pre Construction and Estimating, and Christian Riordan, Project Executive, joined the SBC at its meeting last week. Visit the Project Team page to meet all of our design, OPM, and SBC members.

What’s Ahead?

We are now embarking on an intensive Design Development (DD) process that will take us through April 2019. The full schedule of meetings is posted on the www.lincolnsbc.org home page.

The DD phase develops and finalizes the key architectural and engineering components.

  • At the end of DD there is another round of cost estimates to ensure the project is on budget.
  • At the end of April, the Construction Documents phase will begin. 

Working with Town Boards:

  • The SBC and design team will work through a set of permitting requirements in conjunction with several town boards:
    • Conservation Commission
    • Historical Commission
    • Planning Board
  • Power Purchase Agreement Working Group:  The School Committee will appoint a working group, which will include representation from the Green Energy Committee and the Finance Committee, to develop the PPA. This work will be in collaboration with the SBC and design/construction team.

In addition, there will be an Educational Leadership working group, comprised of school leaders, that will work with the design team throughout the DD process. Also, as they did at the start of the feasibility study process, SMMA will meet with mulitple faculty groups at the start of the DD phase.

Finally, there will be a Logistics Working Group, comprised of representatives from SMMA, Daedalus, Consigli, and school and SBC leadership. This group will meet regularly throughout DD.


How can community members stay up to date?

Here is a “level of interest” guide to get you through the next several months:

“Big milestones…”

  • Update at Annual Town Meeting, Saturday, March 23, 2019.
  • April 24, 2019 SBC Meeting: Final cost estimate before Construction Documents phase begins.

” I want to keep track of the details…”

“I want to be fully involved…”

  • Please come to SBC meetings!
  • This is an intense, complex, iterative process, and each meeting will advance us further.
  • Watch the meetings on the town video website.

Do you have ideas for the website?

The website has been changed around a bit to reflect this new phase. Do you have suggestions to make it easier to navigate? Contact the Outreach Team at sbc@lincnet.org!

Thank you…

…to the almost 1000 fellow citizens who came to Town Meeting.

…to the over 1600 voters who voted at the ballot box.

…to the many people who regularly attended and participated in SBC meetings.

…to everyone who participated in outreach sessions, sent us questions, or came to community forums.

…to our design and Owner’s Project Manager teams.

…to other Lincoln boards and committees that spent time analyzing and shaping the project, and then preparing the town to understand its ramifications.

…to the School’s and Town’s professional teams that supported the SBC’s work in innumerable ways.

…to all those who asked hard questions, and those that helped articulate answers.

…to the fleet of people who took care of all the December 1st and December 3rd logistics: Our public safety officers, our custodial teams, our technology teams, our administrative support teams.

…to those who provided sustenance, and those who tended children, at Town Meeting.

…to the people who talked about the project with neighbors, friends, and new acquaintances.

This has been an intense period of community focus and engagement, and it really does “take a village.”

And now a new type of work begins… 

  • SBC Meeting, Wednesday, December 5th, 7:00pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room
  • The Design Development phase begins, and will last about 4 months.
  • After Wednesday’s meeting, the SBC will publish a schedule of what to expect in the coming months.
  • SBC meetings remain open to the public.

Thank you!

…to everyone who spent their Saturday morning at the Special Town Meeting!

Vote Tally – Special Town Meeting

The project achieved the 2/3 majority vote needed at Town Meeting.

The BALLOT VOTE is THIS MONDAY, DECEMBER 3rd, 7:30am – 8:00pm, Smith Gym!

Happy Special-Town-Meeting-Eve!

Logistics:

  • 8:00am – Voter check-in begins outside the Auditorium. Seating is available in the Auditorium and in the Reed Gym.
  • 9:00am – Presentations begin
  • 10:30am – The floor is open for questions
  • This meeting ends with a vote – regardless of the outcome there will be a ballot vote on Monday!
  • The Girl Scouts will be selling snacks and coffee

 Background Materials

THANK YOU!!! Literally hundreds of people have been engaged and involved in this process. We are immensely grateful to each of you – we hear your voices, and they are part of the fabric of this process and of this Lincoln School project.  See you in the morning!!

– The Outreach Team

This is a Community Project

Over the past 19 months, the Lincoln School project has been forged by the willingness of residents with a wide range of values, priorities, expertise, opinions, and viewpoints to come together to try to collaboratively solve an incredibly complex problem. The goal of the SBC has been to create a process and a platform for individual ideas to be heard and to give direction to its work. In June, we presented 5 viable ways to move forward, and our community made a group decision, in an unprecedented way, about which project best balanced those priorities and delivered the most value for the investment.

At the end of that Special Town Meeting, an overwhelming majority chose the project known as “L3.” The clarity of the vote was due to the fact that many people, with many ideas, were willing to passionately champion their values while demonstrating their willingness to compromise; finding a balance among multiple needs and interests.

The result is a project that is a reflection of resident values; it is “ours,” as a town, in every sense of the word.

What did it take to get to this point?

When we started this process, many challenged us to go beyond a school that is “safe, warm, and dry” and to focus on transforming the educational environment. They noted that the neighborhood model of classrooms, which supports how our educators teach (with future flexibility), would be easiest to achieve in a new, more compact building – not one with classrooms strung out along a long corridor.

Many residents focused on the opportunity to live up to the green energy goals LIncoln set for itself a decade ago, when the town voted to adopt a fossil fuel reduction standard for its public buildings. They focused our attention on “energy use intensity,” the importance of a well-insulated building, new heating & cooling technologies, and the need to generate electricity on site in order to further reduce our carbon footprint. This would be easiest to achieve with new construction.

Others drew our attention to the deep historical ties the town has to the Ballfield Road site. It was the home of the Lincoln Mohawks baseball team in the first half of the 20th century, and where the town regularly gathered in the grand stands. The Lincoln School itself was designed by two Lincoln-resident modern architects, Lawrence Anderson and Henry Hoover. They helped transform school architecture by providing ample access to natural light, connections to the outdoors, and moveable (dare we say flexible?) furniture that wasn’t bolted to the floor. Many residents saw the important connection of the current building to our town’s history, and wanted to ensure that we re-used as much of it as possible and preserved the integrity of the campus.

The Lincoln School is an important center of the community, and many emphasized its role in our recreational and civic life. They placed a high value on retaining both of our full-sized gyms and the Auditorium.

And everyone wanted to ensure that the project would provide good long-term value for the up-front cost – while being mindful of the immediate impact on the community.

As is quickly apparent, it is not easy to reconcile all of these priorities – but there was a lot of determination! As a result of the creativity of our design team and our committee, and a high level of community participation in the process, we all decided that L3 did the best job of drawing all of those interests together.

On Saturday, we will come together to test that hypothesis.

We know that people will come to the meeting looking at the project through different lenses and their own set of experiences. While we all listen to the presentations and the ensuing debate, the following questions might serve as a framework:

  • What is the impact of our decision on future generations of educators and learners?
  • When we look back in 10 or 20 years, will we have made a wise choice?
  • Have we successfully balanced the values of our community? – Education, environmental stewardship, respect for our history and civic life, and fiscal responsibility?
  • What is the impact of our decision on other Town priorities?

Each of us may answer these questions in different ways. We look forward to a thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation on Saturday.

Honoring our History…Environmental Stewardship

Lincoln has long been a leader in land conservation and stewardship. Over the generations, we have put land into conservation, created and maintained an extensive trail network, and inspired modern architects to build houses that meld into the landscape.

With this project, we would take a big step into the future of environmental stewardship by driving down the school’s energy consumption per square foot, switching to an all-electric heating/cooling/ventilation system, and generating energy on site. The building would be fossil-fuel free (except, for now, an emergency generator – battery storage in the future?)

To read prior blog posts that have been “tagged” under sustainability, click here.

Click here to read the Green Energy Committee’s answers to FAQs about Power Purchase Agreements.

For even more information, visit the Sustainability page of the website.

And please visit the Lincoln Green Energy Committee website!


Just for Fun!

What was the name of the semi-pro baseball team that played (and won championships!) on the center field? Click here to find out!

Educational Value(s)…and Some Financial FAQs…

District Strategic Plan

Each year, with input from the community, the Lincoln School Committee and Administrative Team set strategic priorities for the district. These priorities guide professional development and collaboration in the Lincoln School and in the Hanscom Schools. Since the new Hanscom Middle School opened in 2016, the district has had the opportunity to see how a school designed around grade-level neighborhoods and flexible common spaces can support our educational priorities, and how it makes it easier for our teachers to engage in the kinds of collaborations that spark creative and engaging curriculum.

Our teachers are our best educational resource. The building and environment can make their work easier or harder. Below are some resources to learn more about the impact of the learning environment:

  • Want to read about some of the values articulated by our faculty? Visit our October 15, 2017 post, How Spaces Impact Learning.
  • 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 published by the site “The T74,” a non-partisan, non-profit site covering education in America.
  • For more about hubs, revisit our June 3rd post, FAQs: Hubs & Code Compliance.
  • Visit the “Impact on Education” page of the SBC website to learn more, watch videos, etc.

Some Financial FAQs (with assistance from the Finance Committee & Town Finance Team)

I’ve seen that taxes would go up 17% – 19%. Would they keep going up by that much every year?
No. Paying for the bond is like making payments on a fixed rate, 30-year mortgage. The cost for the bond remains constant once it is fully added to the tax bill. However, unlike taking out a mortgage, the Town is likely to issue the bond in two “tranches” or pieces, that will mean the increase in taxes will likely be phased in over 3 years.

When would the project show up on my tax bill?
Based on the currently anticipated borrowing schedule, the first impact would occur in the tax bill for the second half of calendar year 2019.

Will it happen all at once?
No. Based on the currently anticipated borrowing schedule, about 45% of the total increase would appear on the tax bill for the 2nd half of calendar year 2019. That same amount would be included in both semi-annual tax bills of calendar year 2020, bringing that year’s added payments to 90% of the total increase. The two semi-annual added payments in calendar year 2021 would be slightly higher and add up to 95% of the total increase, and then the tax bills from calendar year 2022 onwards would have the full increase included. In other words, it will take about 3 years until we are paying the full “mortgage payment” on the school.

Remember…

…way back in March of 2017 when we were young, carefree, and just starting this process?

Sometimes, unless you are in the Lincoln School every day, it is easy to forget some of the basic reasons we are deciding, THIS SATURDAY, on a school project.

In March 2017, Town Meeting voted unanimously to release $750K that had been previously set aside for a school study, and to start again on developing a Lincoln School project. That vote indicated agreement that the condition of the school needed to be addressed. What do those basic infrastructure needs look like?

  • Big systems are at or beyond life expectancy. As a result, classrooms are often uncomfortably cold or hot, disrupting learning and impacting teaching:
    • HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) – The school does not have dehumidification or cooling except in selected areas.
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
    • Building Envelope: roof, windows, insulation
  • There is no fire suppression system.
  • The school does not meet current snow load, structural, or seismic codes.
  • The school and the site do not meet current codes to accommodate people with disabilities.
  • Entryways do not conform to best practices either for security or energy efficiency.

To see some images, click here. Also, click on the image below to see a short video taken a couple of weeks ago in our elementary Wellness (aka Physical Education) teachers’ office.

Does that mean we’re not keeping up with maintenance? 

No. Each year we have voted as a town to fund a maintenance budget for the Lincoln Schools of about $75,000.  The town has a creative and skilled facilities maintenance team that gets the most out of that money by finding parts for obsolete equipment on eBay, making parts, and an endless array of other inventive solutions. About six years ago, for example, they re-sealed the seams on the roof to try to eke out a few more years before a project. It is worth noting that when we were working with the MSBA, which takes a dim view of towns that purposely avoid routine care, they complimented our facilities team on what they were accomplishing through basic maintenance.

Why can’t we just do this in stages?

The cost of replacing major systems means that they must be done as a capital project because they are outside the price range of the operating budget. Each year, the Capital Planning Committee gathers all the capital requests from each town agency, and works collaboratively to prioritize and do long-range planning. When the school department approached CapCom in 2002, the magnitude of the building’s needs led everyone to agree that it would be wise to do a more comprehensive study of the buildings on campus. Since 2003, multiple town committees and six independent consultants have come to the conclusion that a single project is 1) most cost effective; and 2) least disruptive to our children’s education.

  • Because building-wide systems need to be replaced, there is no area of the school that will be untouched. As a one-school town, there is no other place to house students while work is being done, and it is too extensive to complete over summers or vacations.
  • It does not make sense to do the same work twice, i.e. open up the walls to replace the heating system, and then go back and open up the walls to replace the electrical or plumbing systems.
  • Doing extensive work requires us to bring the building up to current safety, accessibility, and structural codes.
  • We want to minimize the time students and teachers are operating in a construction zone.

On June 9th, the Town considered a $49M option that would have addressed the building’s basic needs. In the first round of voting, almost 96% of those at Town Meeting rejected that solution and chose one of the other project concepts that went beyond repair and addressed additional needs.

Over these final few days before Saturday’s vote, we will try to condense and revisit information that has been shared over the past months.  If you have questions, please write a comment or contact the SBC.

Thank you!

-The Outreach Team


Just for Fun:  What is “Budget Falls”?

  • A.  The latest Wall Street exposé by Michael Lewis.
  • B.  A thriller set in an abandoned mill town.
  • C.  What the students named the plastic tarp catching the leaks in the Brooks Hallway.

Click here for the answer!

 

FAQs: Town Meeting & Voting

Town Meeting, June 9th

When do we vote on the project?

  • NEXT SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1st – Special Town Meeting
  • MONDAY, DECEMBER 3rd – Ballot Vote

How long does the Town Meeting Last?

There is no definitive answer to that question, but here is what we DO know:

  • 8:00am – Check in begins outside the Auditorium. PLEASE CHECK IN EARLY, even if you need to drop off a child, go pick up a friend, etc.
    • All voters must check in outside the Auditorium, but you can vote from either the Auditorium or the Reed Gym.  If you would like to speak, you must come to the Auditorium.
  • 9:00am – Town Meeting presentations will begin promptly!
  • 10:30am – Discussion begins. It can be expected to last at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours, but this is Town Meeting, so it is unpredictable!
  • Whenever the Meeting votes, there will be a 10-minute break to ensure that people are seated and the volunteers who do the counting are in place. THEN THE DOORS WILL CLOSE – YOU MUST BE IN THE AUDITORIUM OR IN THE REED GYM IF YOU WANT TO BE COUNTED!
  • Although there may be a voice vote, it is most likely to be a standing vote.

Can I bring my children to Town Meeting?

YES! They are welcome anywhere – and if you think your child needs some running room, the back half of the Reed Gym will have open space for play. The front half of the Gym will be set up with chairs for when it’s voting time.

How many votes are needed? 

  • There must be a 2/3 majority for the project to pass at Town Meeting.
  • There must be a simple majority for the project to pass at the ballot.
  • Both votes are required if the project is to move forward.

Do we still have a ballot vote on Monday if the project doesn’t pass at Town Meeting?

  • YES! Both votes are happening, and each vote has a “shelf life.”
  • For any capital project (fire truck or school) it does not matter whether a town meeting vote or a ballot vote comes first.
  • If one vote passes and one fails, there is a limited time during which to call another Town Meeting/Ballot vote (whichever was not successful the first time.)

I can’t be at Town Meeting on Saturday, can I vote absentee?

NO. You must be present to vote at any Town Meeting.

I can’t make it to the polls on Monday, can I vote absentee?

YES! Absentee ballots are now available at the Town Clerk’s office.


Just for fun…What do temporary classrooms look like?

Click here to see the temporary classrooms our Hanscom K-3 students are currently using while the new Hanscom Primary School is being finished. (The Lincoln Public Schools District includes the Lincoln School and the Hanscom Primary and Middle Schools on Hanscom Air Force Base.)