FAQ – Tax Relief Programs

~~ TONIGHT! Multi-Board Meeting ~~

7:00pm – 9:00pm Hartwell Pod B

The School Building Committee, Finance Committee, Capital Planning Committee, and Green Energy Committee will present updated information in preparation for December 1st.  

The public is welcome and encouraged to come ask questions!


FAQ: Are there any ways to mitigate the impact of the property tax increase?

The Town of Lincoln offers all of the tax deferral and abatement programs authorized by the state. Below is a chart of the available programs. For more information about property taxes, please visit the Assessor’s web page on the Town website.

See the Latest!

After getting strong guidance from the community that it preferred a “sloped roof” approach to the new center of the building, our design team incorporated the feedback people gave and created updated drawings of the exterior.  Take a look!

(Funding) Plans…(Building) Plans…(Voting) Plans…

What is the funding plan?

The Lincoln Finance Committee met on Monday, November 5th and voted unanimously to recommend the following plan for funding the $93.9M Lincoln School project:

  • $4.4M from Stabilization Funds (existing funds)
  • $1.0M from Free Cash (existing funds)
  • $88.5 BOND (new borrowed funds)

This is the funding mix the Town will vote on.

The Finance Committee also voted unanimously to release the following statement:

“On June 9th the town decisively supported a school project that embodied educational values and sustainability through a renovated school project. We believe:

    1. The SBC has faithfully executed on this charge designing a project staying within the $93.9mil budget,
    2. The town can finance it and should be able to maintain our AAA bond rating,

and thus FinCom supports this project.”

How will this impact our property taxes?

What are the updates to the building plans?

At the November 1st workshops and through subsequent outreach, the community was asked to weigh in on “flat roofs” vs “sloped roofs” for the center section of the building. Thank you to everyone who offered their opinion!

The feedback from those who weighed in showed a strong preference for sloped roofs (~80% vs 20%). At Wednesday’s meeting, the SBC considered both options, and voted to direct the design team to further refine the sloped roof design. If the project is approved, there will be further work to determine optimal design details.

What are your voting plans?

Saturday, December 1st: Special Town Meeting, 9:00am

  • Both the Auditorium and the Reed/Brooks Gym will be available for voters.
  • Eligible voters must check in outside the Auditorium.
  • You must be present to vote at the Town Meeting.
  • A 2/3 majority is required to authorize the funding and to proceed with the project.

Monday, December 3rd: Ballot Vote, 7:30am – 8:00pm

  • Voting is in the Smith Gym.
  • You may vote an absentee ballot in person at the Town Clerk’s office starting on Friday, November 9th.
  • Requests for absentee ballots must be made before 5:00pm on November 30th.
  • Applications for absentee ballots may be made by a family member, BUT Massachusetts law does not permit any person to obtain or deliver an absentee ballot for another individual.
  • Absentee ballots being returned by mail from the United States must be received by the Town Clerk by the close of the polls (8pm) on December 3rd.
  • To request a ballot or to get more information visit https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleabsentee/absidx.htm

Outreach  Events

  • TOMORROW (Friday) – 8:30am in the Lincoln Woods community room
  • TOMORROW (Friday) – 1:00pm in Bemis Hall
  • SATURDAY, 11/10 – 1:00pm, Lincoln Library
  • TUESDAY, 11/13 – 8:00am, Hartwell Multipurpose Room
  • WEDNESDAY, 11/14 – 9:00am, deCordova Café
  • THURSDAY, 11/15 – 11:00am, The Commons
  • THURSDAY, 11/15 – 7:00am, Multiboard Meeting, Pod B

Did you weigh in?…

…there’s still time!

At the November 1st Community Workshops, participants were asked to give their opinions about the look of the new central entrance & commons areas of the school.  So far, 79% of those who gave us feedback at the workshops or online have said they prefer the sloped roof design. What is your opinion? We’re still accepting feedback, so take a look at the sloped vs flat images and let us know what you think! The SBC will be discussing the two options at this week’s meeting: Wednesday, November 7th, 7:00pm, Hartwell multipurpose room.

Green Energy Committee Presentation

At the November 1st workshops, the Green Energy Committee talked about the sustainability aspects of the project that would make it a leader in public school renovation projects. Click here to see their slides.

Community Outreach

If you weren’t able to get to one of the workshops, swing by one of the SBC outreach events this week:

  • Friday, November 9th, 8:30am – Lincoln Woods Community Room
  • Friday, November 9th, 1:00pm – Bemis Hall
  • Saturday, November 10th, 1:00pm – Lincoln Library

Financial & Capital Planning

  • Monday, November 5th, 7:30pm, Donaldson Room – The Finance Committee will be meeting to discuss the financing structure for the project. Click here to see the slides the Finance Committee presented at the State of the Town on October 20th. 
  • Thursday, November 8th, 7:30pm, Town Offices – The Capital Planning Committee has the project on their agenda.

Coming Soon! 

The SBC is collecting a new set of FAQs and will address them in upcoming posts! If you’d like to check out our current collections of FAQs, visit the FAQs home page. 

Sloped Roofs vs. Flat Roofs – Which do you prefer?

If you weren’t at this morning’s Community Workshop, you have another chance to weigh in on the look of the Lincoln School:

TONIGHT (Thursday), 7:00pm, REED/BROOKS GYM!  This is the fun part – come join us! 

There are 2 options for the new heart of the building: a sloped roof OR a flat roof.

Which do you prefer?

                              OR…

P.S. We’d love to see you in person so you can be part of the conversation, BUT, if you really can’t make it, give us your opinion by clicking on “comment” at the bottom of the post.)

Of Massing Studies, Elevations, and Façades…

…Whether or not you are well-versed in architectural vocabulary, you probably have an opinion about how buildings look.  Here is your opportunity to weigh in on the Lincoln School project! The SBC spent significant time talking about the floor plan for the new “heart” of the school, now it’s time to make a decision about what it will look like in 3D. Come help us! Provide your input at one (or both!) of the Community Workshops on Thursday, November 1st (8am AND 7pm). The SBC reviewed several options at its October 24th meeting.

  • At the Workshops, we will take a look at the front (main entrance and commons) and the back (3rd grade wing and media center) of the building.
  • Our design team will present a couple choices based on the SBC’s guidance and will ask for your feedback.
  • See you in the Reed/Brooks Gym!

What’s in the Project? During the recent “value-engineering” process, the SBC considered the cost/value of about 100 items as it made decisions about how best to use the $93.9M budget to meet Lincoln’s core values. The SBC strived to make thoughtful decisions that would protect the integrity of the Lincoln School project, which will be transformational!

  • Centering the School: The life of the school will be focused on the center of the building – the co-location of the media center (library), flexible learning space, and dining and kitchen facilities will allow students and faculty to come together, interact, and collaborate in new ways.
  • Fostering Collaboration: In grades 3 – 8, classrooms are grouped in neighborhoods centered on shared learning spaces (“hubs”). The hubs support an educational model focused on flexible groupings, differentiated instruction, and fostering age-appropriate independent learning.
  • Connection to the Campus: Students currently eat in gyms with no views to the outdoors. In contrast, the new dining commons will open out to the center field. The media center and the learning commons will both have views out to the woods and fields to the west of the school.
  • Sustainability: The school will switch from natural gas to an electric climate control system – paired with solar energy generation, the goal is a Net Zero building; new insulation and windows; and lower-maintenance, sustainable materials.
  • Safety and Accessibility: Improved pathways for pedestrians and cyclists; better site lighting; secure and accessible entryways; connection and integration of the Reed Gym with the Auditorium and the rest of the building.
  • A Community Resource: The new center of the school, flexible-use spaces, and the refurbished Auditorium and gyms will enhance the school as a community resource during non-school hours.

November Outreach Events – All Events Open to Everyone!

Meetings of Interest:

  • Finance Committee: November 5th, 7:30pm, Donaldson Room
  • SBC Regular Meeting: November 7th, 7:00pm, Hartwell

We wait…

…with bated breath…On Thursday, the schematic design for the Lincoln School project was sent out for cost estimation (here are the slides from the September 12th meeting which give an overview of the elements of the project). In keeping with best practices, the design will be evaluated by two different groups of estimators. The work will take about 2 weeks and we will review the preliminary estimates at the September 26th SBC meeting. Thus begins a two-part process. First, the two groups of estimators will meet to reconcile the two estimates. Second, the design team (SMMA) and our Owners Project Manager (Daedalus) will develop a list of items for the SBC to consider in the value engineering process.

As anyone who has done a remodel project knows, there’s a chance that these first estimates may come in at, below, or above the $93.9M cost estimate that was voted on in June. That’s a normal (if nervewracking) part of the process! The SBC then moves on to the next phase during which it evaluates costs and possible trade-offs among design, functionality, and features to stay within our goals and budget. These could be tough conversations, ones which require each of us to continue to compromise in order to achieve our big goal: a transformational renovation project that will provide spaces that support our educational vision in a safe, comfortable building that maximizes sustainability and honors the history of the site.

To read more about the schematic design process and value engineering, take a look at our June 6th blog post.

Upcoming SBC Schedule: 

  • September 26th SBC Meeting: Review preliminary cost estimates.  After this, the estimators meet to reconcile the two estimates, and SMMA and Daedalus develop lists of items to be considered in the value-engineering process.
  • October 3rd SBC Meeting: Review reconciled cost estimates; SBC begins the value-engineering process.
  • Further schedule TBD – We may elect to keep to our weekly schedule!

Thank you! To everyone who engaged with the SBC at the Back to School picnic, during the Brooks curriculum night, and at the outreach session hosted by the Council on Aging!

9/12 iteration of the Dining Commons

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 www.lincolntv.viebit.com.

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

 

It’s Time to Go Back to School (Building Committee)!

Community Workshops: THIS WEDNESDAY, September 5th – 2 Sessions
• 8:00am – 10:00am
• 7:00pm – 9:00pm
• Both (identical) sessions will be in the Brooks (Reed) Gym

The SBC has been meeting all summer and a lot of work has been done. This is your opportunity to get caught up and ask questions before we send the schematic designs to the cost estimators!

What can you expect? The design team will present all that has been done to advance the “L3” concept we voted for on June 9th. Topics will include:

  • Floor Plans – Where are the grades? How are the hubs and the commons laid out? Where is the new kitchen?
  • Site Plan – Traffic flow, pedestrian paths, bike paths, parking.
  • Sustainability – What needs to be done to try to reach our goal of a net zero building?
  • Phasing – Where will students go during renovation?
  • Next Steps – What is the SBC working on over the next couple of months?

Please consider this a hand-delivered, personal invitation to attend one of the sessions! It takes a Town to make a school project successful, and we hope you will join us to learn more and ask questions.

– The SBC Outreach Team