Putting the Pieces Together – This Week is “All School All the Time”!

We’ve talked a lot about the complexity of the Lincoln School project – this week multiple Town boards and committees have the project on their agendas. Each will dive into the details as seen through the lens of their committee’s charge.  On Thursday, many boards will meet together to try to understand how all the pieces of the project are fitting into place. Please join us – All the meetings are open to the public! Find more information at www.lincolntown.org and www.lincolnsbc.org    

Monday, October 15th:

  • Board of Selectmen, 6:30pm, Donaldson Room, Town Offices
  • Parks & Recreation (PRD) Committee, 7:00pm, Hartwell PodA, Ballfield Road
  • Capital Planning Committee, 7:30pm, Selectmen’s Office, Town Offices

Tuesday, October 16th:

  • Finance Committee, 7:30pm, Donaldson room, Town Offices
    • Cash flow estimates and bond strategies
    • Solar arrays for the school: capital expenditure vs. power purchase agreement
    • Use of stabilization funds

Wednesday, October 17th: 

  • School Building Committee, 7:00pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room, Ballfield Road
    • Continue value-engineering process
    • Prepare for October 20th State of the Town

Thursday, October 18th:

  • MULTI BOARD MEETING, 7:00pm, Hartwell PodB, Ballfield Road.
  • On the Agenda:
    • Update on the project’s scope of work and cost estimates.
    • Finance Committee update
    • Other funding sources? Grants? Green energy credits or rebates?
    • Develop a list of questions that need to be answered by boards/committees before December 1st – assign questions to the relevant committee



  • 9:00am – 12:30pm, Auditorium


Engaging with Our Neighbors

  • December 1stSpecial Town Meeting
  • December 3rdBallot Vote

The votes to fund the school project are fast approaching! Do you and your friends and neighbors want to learn more? Would you be willing to host an information session? 

The SBC wants to come to your neighborhood to share information and answer questions about the project! If you’re willing to gather some friends and neighbors in your home for an hour or so in November, members of the SBC will run an informal conversation about the project. To schedule a time, please contact Kim Bodnar at kimbodnar1007@gmail.com.

Inspiring Future Architects…

A Lincoln School student sat in on a recent SBC meeting.  How did he spend his time? He drew his ideal floor plan while listening to the discussion about the central dining and learning commons! We thank him for his willingness to share his drawing – click here to see it!

Welcome to the SBC Rollercoaster…

Sometimes you’re up…
There has been a lot of discussion over the past many weeks about the floor plan in the central part of the Lincoln School, the part comprised of the media center (library), dining commons, kitchen, and learning commons. After a number of permutations, the design team took the feedback it was getting from the SBC and the community, and developed one more. It was well-received by the SBC and the community members in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting! Here are some of the reasons:

  • It “flips” the location of the media center and the 3rd grade neighborhood from the previous iteration.
  • It moves the 3rd grade closer to the 4th grade, making it easier for them to share a “swing classroom” (one that shifts according to enrollment needs).
  • The main entrance faces the media center instead of the 3rd grade. It gives the 3rd grade more privacy, and makes it easier to close off the classroom spaces from the more public, community areas.
  • It allows for transparency and flow through the building from east to west.

The SBC voted to move forward with an analysis of how this floor plan works 3-dimensionally and how it impacts cost. Click on the image below to see the slides from Wednesday’s meeting.

And sometimes…
Also on Wednesday, the SBC got the initial draft cost estimates from two independent estimators. We knew that there was a possibility that the initial estimates could come in higher than the $93.9M we voted for in June. Nevertheless, it did not make it any easier to hear that the draft estimates were $102M and $109M. So now what?

  • The estimators, our Owners Project Manager, and our design team are going through the estimates line by line to ensure they are estimating the same scope, materials, quantities, and costs.
  • The reconciled initial estimates will be presented to the SBC on Wednesday, October 3rd.
  • Also on the 3rd, the design team will bring forward a set of possible ways to cut cost. The SBC will begin to evaluate and make decisions about each of these options. This is likely to require additional time at subsequent meetings.
  • Throughout this “value-engineering” process, the challenge for the SBC will be to make responsible cost-cutting decisions that maintain the integrity and long-term value of the project, while achieving the target budget of $93.9M.
  • NOTE: At this stage of schematic design in 2012 the initial draft estimates were above the target budget. The 2012 SBC went through this same process and successfully brought the project to the target budget – it is not easy, but we are committed.

Please join us!

  • October 3rd: Next SBC Meeting, 7pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room
  • October 18th: Multi Board Meeting, 7pm – 9pm, location TBA
  • October 20th: Special Town Meeting AND State of the Town Meeting, 9am – 12:30pm, Lincoln School Auditorium
  • November 15th: Multi Board Community Forum, 7pm – 9pm, location TBA

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

“Heart of the School” & Phasing…

“Heart of the School”One of the main features of the “L3” concept chosen on June 9th is the creation of new, centralized, “heart of the school.” This area, which will serve grades preK – 8, will be created with a combination of new construction and renovation of the existing library. It will include the new dining commons and kitchen, the administrative offices, and the media center (aka library), and it will become an area of the school that brings all students and faculty together. The design team and the SBC have considered a number of design possibilities, and are continuing to think about the architecture of this project focal point.  Click on the slides from this week’s SBC meeting to see the latest thinking.

Where Will the Students Go?Another topic discussed at the August 22 SBC meeting was the phasing plan. Once construction begins, the project will take about 3 years.  As proposed, the first phase renovates the middle school, taking about 18 months. At the end of that time, the middle school moves into the renovated Brooks end of the building, and renovation of the elementary grades begins. Click on the link to the presentation to learn more.


On the agenda: Updated floor plans; updated exterior elevations; preliminary discussion of interior spaces; preliminary discussion about technology and furniture; follow-up on photovoltaic discussion; discussion of decision timeline from now until December 1st.

Electrical Systems, Energy Model, & PV

Draft plan as of 8-15-18

August 15th Meeting Recap: Those who spend time in the Lincoln School know that whether it’s summer or winter, currently there is a wide temperature range from one room to another. One of the big impacts of the renovation will be a better, quieter, and much more consistent environment for our students and faculty. The choice of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning), lighting, and life-safety systems also ties directly into our goal of making this an energy-efficient and sustainable building. This week’s SBC meeting was focused on three key components of the project: the electrical systems, predicted electricity needs, and on-site electricity generation. Click here for the slide presentation.

  • HVAC: The goal is to try to move to all-electric systems and to generate as much energy as the school uses. Currently the school is heated with natural gas, and there is no centralized de-humidification or cooling (some selected areas such as offices and the library do have cooling). We are planning to switch to an electric system that will have the capacity to heat, de-humidify, and cool the building by using a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) HVAC system. It is similar to a “mini-split” system used in many homes, and allows temperatures to be evenly controlled in different parts of the building. The system will also include energy recovery units that will provide ventilation throughout the building.
  • Lighting: The project will include LED lighting and a straightforward digital lighting control system. This will adjust the level of artificial light to the amount of natural light in a room, helping to reduce energy consumption.
  • Life-Safety: Communication systems, security, and fire protection systems are all part of the electrical system. What happens if we lose power?! An emergency generator is also part of the project to ensure operable safety systems, frozen pipe prevention, and communication in case of power loss.
  • How Much Electricity Do We Need? As plans are developed, SMMA is developing and updating the energy model that predicts how much electricity will be needed to run the building. The current iteration of the model predicts the average annual use will be 1.1 million kWh. When planning for energy generation and operating costs, the industry best practice is to add 20% to the predicted use, which brings us to 1.3 million kWh/year. These numbers will continue to be refined throughout the design process.
  • On-Site Electricity Generation: Good news – Between the roof of the school and building photovoltaic (PV) canopies over the two main parking lots, we can generate all the electricity we need! TBD – As presented by SMMA and Solar Design Associates, the current cost estimate (which is purposely conservative) is higher than the amount earmarked in the June budget. Click here for Solar Design Associates’ slide presentation.

Next Steps: SMMA and Solar Design Associates will continue to refine the building systems and the design, see how those changes affect the energy model, review cost estimates, and look for opportunities within the project budget for meeting our sustainability goals. The SBC will revisit this topic at an upcoming meeting.

This Wednesday’s Meeting (August 22nd):  The SBC will be meeting this Wednesday and will look again at site plans, exterior elevations, and plans for the central entrance and Commons. Please join us at 7:00pm in the Hartwell multipurpose room or watch us on TV! An updated meeting schedule can be be found here .

The Building, PV Panels, and Us…

this is what we need to meet our goal of making the Lincoln School a “net zero” building.

Make no mistake, this is an ambitious goal that requires careful planning, attention to detail, and conscious decisions about how we use the building. A further complexity of meeting our goal is the fact that this is essentially a renovation project, not new construction. This Wednesday, August 15th, 7pm, Hartwell Multipurpose room, the SBC invites you to join us for a meeting that will focus on the many sustainability components of the project.

The Building: The “building envelope” and the type of heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system we choose both have a huge impact on the efficiency of the building.

Building Envelope: This is made up of the walls, roof, and windows.  To have a building that uses the least amount of energy, the school must be protected by a continuous and substantial layer of insulation. Because the Lincoln School was originally built as separate buildings in numerous phases between 1948 and 1994, the current campus has many different types of construction. So what does that mean for the project?

  • To meet our goal of a building that generates as much energy as it consumes (“net zero”) we must create a unified building envelope.
  • Only a small portion (about 20 – 25%) of the project is new construction.
  • In general, most of the exterior walls will need to be rebuilt to meet current structural codes and to accommodate the necessary insulation.

HVAC System: According to the guidelines adopted by Lincoln in 2008, a net zero building cannot rely on fossil fuels for heating or cooking because they are not (easily) renewable sources of energy. Currently the school is heated by natural gas boilers. The project is looking at new HVAC and kitchen systems that will be all-electric, offset by electricity generated by PV panels (see below).

Photovoltaic (PV) Panels: Another key component of net zero is energy generation to offset electricity consumption.  Where? How? On August 15th, the design team will introduce a preliminary PV plan that shows the location of panels on the roof and over parking lots.

Us: The third big factor is, of course, us – get used to hearing the term “plug loads”! Plug load simply refers to all of the stuff we plug into an outlet – computers, coffee pots, science lab equipment, copy machines, microwaves, electric pencil sharpeners, lava lamps…you get the idea. This will be a topic of many future conversations!


TWO SESSIONS: 8am – 10am & 7pm – 9pm, Brooks Gym

August 8th Recap: The SBC spent a lot of time talking about the site plan and design ideas for the new part of the building which will house the dining commons, kitchen, and administrative offices. Click here to see the slide presentation, and here to watch the meeting video.

Coming Next: The SBC will be meeting on the following dates:

  • August 15th – Focus on Sustainability
  • August 22nd – Floor Plans, Site Plans, Exterior Design
  • August 29th – Updates on everything!
  • September 12th – Finalize Floor Plans, Site Plans, Exterior Design, Systems and Sustainability so that we can send it all to the cost estimators!