At last week’s meeting, the SBC got a look at the latest refinements to the interior design of the school. The design and color palette will knit together the renovated and new portions of the building. The image above shows the new entry lobby of the school. See how this kind of ceiling looks in real life here, and see other interior images here.
As reported in earlier posts, the SBC went through a Value Engineering (VE) exercise at the end of the 60% Construction Documents Phase to keep the project on budget. The single biggest savings ($500K+) was achieved by replacing the proposed concrete panel system on the upper levels of the Auditorium and Reed with brick. On Wednesday, the SBC reviewed several brick options, and chose a contrasting brick that will complement the accent brick being used on other parts of the building. The 3 photos below show: 1) the current building; 2) the previous concrete panel design; and 3) the new proposal. Click here for the entire slide deck, and here for the monthly project budget report.
The SBC will now meet once per month. The next meeting is on Wednesday, October 16th, 7pm, Hartwell multipurpose room.
At the end of each phase of the school project, the project team performs a new round of cost estimating. We are now at the end of the 60% Construction Documents phase, and at last Wednesday’s meeting the SBC reviewed the latest estimates. They came in about $2.8M above budget, so the SBC is engaged in Value Engineering to keep the project on budget. Here is a brief synopsis of the project’s cost estimation history:
In September 2018, at the end of Schematic Design, the reconciled cost estimate was $104M, and the SBC went through an extensive round of Value Engineering to keep the project on budget.
At a Special Town Meeting and ballot vote in December 2018, the $93.9M project was approved. The tax impact of the bond is here.
In April 2019, at the end of Design Development, the cost estimates determined that the project was on budget.
So if the project was on budget in April, why did the latest estimates come in higher?
Our project is about 75% renovation/25% new construction.
Two major goals of the project are to 1) ensure a comfortable and healthy learning environment, and 2) make the building net zero.
Meeting those goals means there is a heavy emphasis on the building envelope and the mechanical systems.
The 60% Construction Documents phase is when the specifications and details of those systems are determined. Therefore, this difference in cost estimates is not unusual.
The SBC began the process of cutting costs last Wednesday, and the process will continue over the next couple of weeks. An additional SBC meeting has been added on this coming Wednesday, September 4th, 7pm, in the Hartwell multipurpose room.
Click here to see a comparison of the three cost estimates.
Is the project continuing to meet its EUI (energy use intensity) goal of ~23? To find out, click here. To learn more about net zero and EUI, visit the FAQs home page.
On Wednesday SMMA presented the plans for interior materials and colors. As they developed the palette, they drew on the surrounding landscape for inspiration:
One of the interesting challenges in designing the interior is finding a way to update the building’s look while working with existing cabinetry, walls, and tiles that are being reused. The slide below shows photos of two current elementary classrooms:
The floors will be replaced, but as a cost saving measure the cabinets will remain. To work with these colors, SMMA is proposing the following materials:
Below are images that show how the school will be transformed! To see the whole presentation, click here.
At last Wednesday’s meeting, EwingCole and SMMA shared the latest updates to both interior and exterior designs for the center part of the school. The presentation (which can be seen in its entirety here) included:
Light studies of the Learning Commons: The Learning Commons have an east to west orientation, and light control is important in the early morning and late afternoon. The SBC reviewed two options for exterior shading, and chose the horizontal fin screen pictured in the images. There will also be internal shades to allow light to be blocked out for presentations.
Exterior studies of building materials.
Interior studies of the new Media Center and the corridor that will connect the Learning Commons to the Smith end of the building (the “K – 4 Gallery”).
May 28th: Planning Board, 7pm, Town Offices. This is the initial review of the plan for the modulars. The Conservation Committee approved the plans on May 22nd.
June 5th: School Building Committee, 7pm, Hartwell.
June 11th: Planning Board, 7pm, Town Offices. Final hearing and vote to approve the plan for the modulars.
The design team is continuing to work through a myriad of site plan, systems, and design details. Following are some updated images that were shown at Wednesday’s meeting. To see the entire slide deck, click here.
Below is a view of the current site showing the latest thinking about the location and configuration of the temporary school and parking lot (inside the red circle). Once the final contract has been awarded for the modular units, the construction schedule will be updated, and we will begin to share information about what we can all expect when we drive onto the campus after the 4th of July.
April 3rd, Power Purchase Agreement Subcommittee, 7:30am, Hartwell multipurpose room.
April 10th, School Building Committee, 7:00pm, Hartwell multipurpose room.
April 11th, Outreach Subcommittee, 11:00am, Hartwell multipurpose room.
April 22nd, Site Subcommittee, 9:00am, Hartwel multipurpose room.
As the SBC and design team work through the Design Development phase, there are discussions about the preservation and reinstallation of historic elements such as the butterfly weathervane and the bell from the deCordova estate. In addition, the committee is considering ways to salvage some materials from the demolition process for reuse in the building. Here are some examples:
deCordova Bell: The current proposal is to install the bell in the new Reed Gym connector. This is an area that will be visible to the community during events in the gym and/or the Auditorium.
Butterfly Weathervane: Given the scale of the weathervane, an outdoor location is probably most appropriate. The image shows some possible locations.
Wood Flooring from the Smith stage: The design team is proposing using the flooring from the Smith stage as an architectural accent in the Learning Commons.
…Building our Future
This was the last SBC meeting before the Design Development drawings and specifications are sent out for the next round of cost estimates (cost estimates will be reviewed at the April 10, 2019 meeting). Many details are being worked through, such as the layout of the new kitchen & dining commons. SMMA’s kitchen consultant is continuing to collaborate with the administrative team, including the Director of Food Services. They are thinking about issues such as the ease of refilling food displays, height of the check out lines for our younger students, and orientation of the serving and check out lines for maximum efficiency. Here is the latest plan:
Also at the last meeting, the SBC heard an overview of the instructional technology plan. This includes the network infrastructure, presentation tools for classrooms and large spaces, and safety and communication equipment. The plan is to build on our current systems and tools, and do our best to “future proof” our technology. This means building in the flexibility to upgrade and replace sytems and equipment as they change over time.
And in the short term…
The SBC saw the latest iteration of the planned layout for the temporary school that will be built on the center field. Preparations for installation of the modulars are expected to begin after July 4th.
The link to the entire presentation can be found here.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 27th, 7:00pm, Hartwell multipurpose room.
At the 2/27 SBC meeting, the design team (SMMA/EwingCole) presented the latest iterations of interior and exterior design elements. Some examples are below, and more can be found in the image gallery here.
The next SBC meeting is on Wednesday, March 13th, 7:00pm, Hartwell multipurpose room.
The SBC is considering two options for controlling solar glare on the eastern and western sides of the Learning Commons:
Another view of the center of the school: main entrance, Learning Commons, and Dining Common