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



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!

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