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Tag: Construction Documents Phase

Demolition is Underway!

This week, Phase 1 demolition began in earnest! To break down the work being done, the building has been divided into 8 sections (A through H). Phase 1 will include sections D, E, F, G, and H (See the image below to learn which parts of the building are included).  This phase will be completed by the Fall of 2021, and then work will begin on Phase 2, which is comprised of sections A, B, and C. 

Here are photos from this week:

Navigating the Campus During Phase 1

Phase 1 construction is underway! This is very exciting and it also means that getting around the Ballfield Road campus has changed. When you walk, cycle, or drive to the school, you’ll notice more green stormwater barriers and more fencing. The school is situated in the middle of wetlands and the barriers are there to protect the stream and wetlands from construction debris. We ask for your help in keeping these barriers intact both to protect our water and to help us avoid the expense of replacing broken barriers. Thank you for your patience!

Click here to see the “look-ahead” construction schedule and here for the budget update from the last SBC meeting.

Campus access during Phase 1 of construction.

Building in the Time of COVID-19

Project Progress: Over the past couple of weeks the temporary faculty parking lot has been paved and striped and the construction fencing around the temporary school has been coming down!

Packing Up: This week the Lincoln School staff began the process of packing their classrooms and offices for the upcoming move! With the school closure extended through the end of the school year, the administration worked with our team of architects from SMMA and Consigli Construction to create a plan to begin the move process in order to create more time for construction.
The Lincoln School was originally scheduled to be packed and moved by late June. The revised timeline now brings the completion of the move to the end of the first week of June allowing Consigli access to the building the week of June 8th. This will not affect the already established overall timeline of the project but will provide some additional time to allow for unexpected delays due to unforeseen conditions or potential work delays due to COVID-19. Consigli may begin work that will not interfere with the packing and move prior to June 8th. In order to ensure the safety of all of our staff involved with the packing and move, a comprehensive protocol was developed to make certain there is minimal contact between persons and that all surfaces are cleaned before and after each space is occupied. Small numbers of staff are scheduled throughout the building on specific days and times over the course of three weeks. When teachers are packing, their team members are covering remote learning from home for their students. This is a huge endeavor under challenging conditions. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our Lincoln School faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as, our facilities and technology staff who are all going above and beyond to make this happen! We will be prepared to start the next school year in the temporary modular building and the Smith portion of the Lincoln School. – from Superintendent Becky McFall

Town Meeting/Town Election Update: The Town Moderator and Board of Selectmen have rescheduled Town Meeting for Saturday, June 13th and the Town Election for Monday, June 15th. As of now, the State of Emergency extends through May 18th. Because Lincoln had already signed a Town Meeting warrant back in February, we are required to hold Town Meeting within 30 days of the lifting of the State of Emergency. This is why the date was set for mid June. To meet the deadlines for holding a Town Meeting/Elections, Town boards and committees need to move full steam ahead to plan for both events. If the state of emergency is extended? Well…at least we’ll be prepared!

Meeting This Week! The SBC is meeting via Zoom this Wednesday, 7:00pm (Details to join the meeting will be posted along with the agenda on Monday. Visit https://www.lincnet.org/Page/4876.) In addition to a construction update, the main purpose of the meeting will be to review the list of value engineered items that the SBC had planned to bring to a vote in March. These are the ~$2M worth of items that were eliminated from the project to keep it on budget, but that the SBC decided were important to the long-term value of the project. At Wednesday’s meeting, the SBC will get an update from the Finance Committee about the current state of Town’s financial picture and discuss how best to move forward with that list.

PPA & GMP Finalized! (What does that mean?)

Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Signed!

To address the Town’s sustainability goals for municipal buildings, the School Building Committee proposed, and the Town agreed, to design buildings and systems in the buildings that are powered entirely by electricity (Yes – there’s a back-up, gas-powered generator), and to provide enough solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to meet all of the building’s energy needs on an annual basis (to be net zero). 

  • The PPA was the best route for the project because: 1) It eliminated the need to provide upfront financing for the solar PV project, and 2) the Town, as a tax-exempt entity, cannot benefit from state and federal tax incentives.
  • The SBC formed the PPA Subcommittee to pursue an agreement (Thank you to Buck Creel, Jim Hutchinson, Tim Christenfeld, Alex Chatfield, Ed Kern, Michael Haines, and Peter Watkinson who have been working tirelessly since the subcommittee’s formation in December 2018!).
  • In 2019, the PPA Subcommittee recommended SunPower Corporation to provide the solar PV system through a non-profit solar program organized by PowerOptions, Inc. The program is administered under Massachusetts G.L. c 164. PowerOptions is a nonprofit organization that has negotiated low electric and natural gas rates for the Lincoln Public Schools for many years.
  • Negotiations for the PPA were lengthy due to the complexity and unusually long timetable for the project, but on March 29, 2020 we signed a PPA agreement with SunPower and PowerOptions!
    • The currently planned solar PV system will have approximately 1.4 MW of PV panels spread across the Smith and Brooks School roofs, as well as on canopies above both Smith and Brooks parking lots, and a 500 KW battery storage system.
    • Collectively, the PV panels will produce approximately 1.6 million kW hours of electricity annually, meeting the electricity consumption needs projected by the school architects, and the annual cost to the town is expected to be within the current energy budget for the Smith and Brooks buildings.
    • The Brooks parking lot canopy footings and some conduit work are scheduled for the summer of 2021, but most of the installation of the solar PV system is expected to occur in one deployment after the entire renovation is substantially complete.

The GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price) is Finalized…

…and the project is a go! (Wait, what about the Special Town Meeting (STM)? I thought we had to vote?)

First let’s answer the STM question because it has come up a few times: Way back in February 2020, BC (Before COVID-19), the construction bids were received, they were over our budget, and the SBC cut $3.5M out the project to keep it within the approved $93.9M. We then had a school project that was both on time and on budget. However, to make that happen, we had to cut a bunch of items that are important educationally and to the community, and so the SBC requested a Special Town Meeting to ask residents if they would like to vote for additional funding to restore any or all of those aspects of the project. The SBC is still considering bringing items to the Town for a vote, but the $93.9M project goes on regardless of the outcome of the vote(s).

So why is the GMP just being finalized now? When the SBC met (virtually) on March 25, it was to approve the final costs, terms, and schedules that make up the GMP. New to the proposed language was a clause addressing possible costs and schedule impacts of COVID-19. Figuring out the full implications of COVID-19 on the project is difficult and we are working closely with our project team to understand what those impacts might be. The situation is evolving, and we will update the community as we learn more.  In the meantime, after negotiations between our Town Counsel and Consigli, the GMP includes a COVID-19 clause that shares potential financial impacts between our general contractor, Consigli, and the Town. A key aspect of the agreement is that there is a cap on COVID-related expenses.  

  • Consigli has a construction contingency of $1.7M built into its contract. The new agreement allows them to use the contingency for COVID-related expenses. Any expenses Consigli identifies as being due to COVID-19 will be submitted for approval to Daedalus, our Owner’s Project Manager, and/or the SBC.
  • If all of Consigli’s contingency is used, they may be reimbursed for COVID-related expenses for up to 25% of their contingency ($425K).
  • The goal is to have these COVID expenses be covered either by Consigli’s construction contingency or by the owner’s (Town’s) contingency ($4.3M).

Recap from 3/25 Virtual SBC Meeting

On Wednesday the SBC met via Zoom. The meeting was broadcast live (as usual) on Comcast channel 8 and Verizon channel 33, and the video of the meeting can be seen here: https://lincolntv.viebit.com/?folder=ALL

The main purpose of the meeting was to review and approve the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) for the project. There are several components to the GMP, including (slide deck is available here):

  • Construction Cost: $78,324,908
  • List of Allowances: $1,489,700 (work that is anticipated but not yet fully designed or scope that is not yet defined until the project begins)
  • Assumptions and Qualification: Clarifications made by the Construction Manager to demonstrate understanding of the scope of work and to supplement the information contained in the design documents.
  • Project Schedule: Anticipated start and completion dates, including important milestones:
    • Modular classrooms: Complete
    • Phase 1: Start, June 22, 2020; Substantial Completion, June 22, 2021
    • Phase 2: Start, July 8, 2021; Substantial Completion, July 8, 2022

The SBC voted to approve the GMP subject to final review of the contract by Town Counsel.

COVID-19 & the SBC

As seemingly everything gets turned upside-down, here is the status of the School Building Committee:

  • CANCELED: March 17 SBC meeting
  • CANCELED: March 18 Community Forum to present items that were to be voted on at the Special Town Meeting. At some point we will hold a virtual Community Forum.
  • RESCHEDULED: The March 18 SBC meeting has been rescheduled for March 25, 7:00pm. The meeting is necessary in order to vote approvals for expenditures, however the meeting is likely to be held virtually. This is possible because Governor Baker signed an executive order that relaxed the Open Meeting Law rules for remote participation. The meeting must still be open to the community and there must be a quorum in order to make decisions, but the quorum does not need to be present in the same location. As a town, we are determining the best way to hold virtual meetings so that the format and accessibility is as uniform as possible. Stay tuned!
  • POSTPONED: Special Town Meeting and Annual Town Meeting have been rescheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2020.
  • POSTPONED: Annual Town Election has been rescheduled for Monday, April 27, 2020

Community Forum March 18th – Special Town Meeting March 28th

SAVE THE DATES:

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 7:30PM:  COMMUNITY FORUM, Hartwell Multipurpose Room

SATURDAY, MARCH 28, 9:30AM:  SPECIAL TOWN MEETING, Donaldson Auditorium

In the wake of the February 12 meeting when the SBC had to cut $3.5M of scope out of the project to keep it on time and on budget, the SBC voted to pursue funding for the restoration of key project elements totaling about $2M.  

This vote launched a round of communication with the School Committee, Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee to request, and plan, for a Special Town Meeting to be held on the same day as the Annual Town Meeting (March 28).  

When is the Special Town Meeting?

The same day as the Annual Town Meeting:  Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 9:30am.

Why is the Special Town Meeting on the same day as the Annual Town Meeting?

The warrant closed on January 26, and the only way to consider a new item is to call a Special Town Meeting.  On February 24, at the request of the School Committee, the Board of Selectmen voted to call a Special Town Meeting for the purpose of considering additional capital requests for the Lincoln School building project. The Annual Town Meeting will begin as soon as the Special Town Meeting has ended.

What is being decided at the Special Town Meeting?

Residents will consider approving items that the SBC has prioritized.  About $2M in additional funds is required to reinstate all the prioritized features of the school project that had to be eliminated to close the gap between the final estimates and the actual construction bids. The SBC is exploring options that use existing Free Cash and/or Stabilization funds.

What are we voting on?

  1. About $2M of priority items (see below) related to the educational program, quality of the interior and exterior environment, community use of the building and the campus, and the long-term value of our investment. The SBC and the Finance Committee are discussing whether this request will come forward as one or more motions.  The SBC will be meeting on March 17th and will update the community as soon as information is finalized.
  2. Funds from the Cable Revolving Fund to be used for technology upgrades in the Auditorium (note: This is not a new request.  Originally this was on the Annual Town Meeting warrant.  It has been moved to the STM to keep all project-related items together.)

Why is the Special Town Meeting Important?

These are high-priority items that had to be cut from the project to stay on time and on budget.  If the community wants them to be added back into the project, residents must vote to fund them at the Special Town Meeting.  Our contractor, Consigli, needs to know exactly which items are part of the project in order to execute final contracts. 

To learn more about what’s on the list and why the bids came in over budget, read more at https://lincolnsbc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/VE-List-Final-Approved-Website-VERSION_2020-0226.pdf and https://lincolnsbc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Special-Town-Meeting-FAQs-final-for-mailing.pdf

Special Town Meeting – March 28th

In the wake of the February 12 meeting when the SBC had to cut $3.5M of scope out of the project to keep it on time and on budget, the SBC met this past Monday morning to discuss options.  At that meeting, the SBC voted to pursue funding for the restoration of key project elements.  

This vote launched a round of communication with the School Committee, Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee to request, and plan, for a Special Town Meeting to be held on the same day as the Annual Town Meeting (March 28).  Following is a set of FAQs that provide an overview of where we are and how we got here.  In addition, please mark your calendars for a Community Forum on Wednesday, March 18, 7:30pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room.

Lincoln School ProjectSpecial Town Meeting, March 28, 2020FAQs

The Lincoln School project will transform our educational and community spaces.  The project is the first net zero school renovation of its kind in the state.  And the recent need to remove $3.5M from the scope of the project does not change what it will achieve.  Throughout the design process, the School Building Committee (SBC) has used the community’s five core project goals to stay focused on what is important and to guide us through difficult decisions. Those goals are: 

  1. support innovative education
  2. prioritize the environment and sustainability
  3. enhance the use of the school as a community resource
  4. respect the feel and history of the campus
  5. make decisions that have long-term value

All along, as we went through the value engineering (VE) process, the SBC achieved necessary reductions in the project without impinging on those core values. But the need to reduce the construction budget by $3.5M as a result of the construction bid process has impacted aspects of the project that the SBC has worked hard to protect.  

We did not believe that we would ever be in a position to have to compromise core values to keep the project within budget. The SBC promised a fully renovated, educationally transformative net zero school for $93.9M, which we have achieved.  In this last round of value engineering, the SBC had to reduce or eliminate some items that we know are important to many members of the community, such as: Bike paths/walkways; playground equipment; outdoor learning and community spaces; optimization of natural daylight (reduced interior glass and the exterior sun controls for classrooms); tree replacement; new furniture and technology infrastructure that supports our building’s innovative learning environment.

The timing of the bid process did not afford sufficient time to fully consider the implications on the project within our annual budget and planning cycle leading up to Town Meeting. The Special Town Meeting is the community’s opportunity to decide whether some or all elements will be restored.

When is the Special Town Meeting?

The same day as the Annual Town Meeting:  Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 9:30am.

Why is the Special Town Meeting on the same day as the Annual Town Meeting?

The warrant closed on January 26, and the only way to consider a new item is to call a Special Town Meeting.  On February 24, at the request of the School Committee, the Board of Selectmen voted to call a Special Town Meeting for the purpose of considering additional capital requests for the Lincoln School building project.

What is being decided at the Special Town Meeting?

Residents will consider approving items that the SBC has prioritized.  About $2M in additional funds is required to reinstate key features of the school project that had to be eliminated to close the gap between the final estimates and the actual construction bids. The SBC is exploring options that use existing Free Cash and/or Stabilization funds.

Why did the bids come in over budget?

  • Escalation: re-bid cost estimates included an “escalation contingency” of about 6%. According to our project team, the annualized industry escalation rate in January and February has been closer to 8%. Complexity:  Our project is a complex renovation that will create cohesion in a building complex that was built in 11 phases over almost 50 years. When we set the budget in June 2018, the design and drawings were 20% complete.  As we progressed through Schematic Design, Design Development, and Construction Documents stages, we learned more about existing conditions and about the work needed to achieve our community’s goals.  We received three independent cost estimates at the end of each phase:
    • Before the bond vote in December 2018, the SBC reduced the scope of the project by about $10M.  As the project went on, we had three more rounds of cost estimates and two more rounds of value engineering, which further reduced the scope of the project by about $4M.  The last VE exercise before the project went out to bid in December cut $1.5M to keep the project on budget. As we went through those exercises, the SBC felt confident about how the building would look and perform for the next 30-plus years. Unlike the VE reductions in other phases, the size of this most recent estimate and budget gap left the SBC with little discretion about what to remove. We were forced to make cuts that impact our project values.
    • There are many new construction projects out there (schools, commercial buildings, and housing) which are more predictable and straightforward.  Contractors have their choice of work, and new construction is more attractive.
  • Lower Bid Response:  This renovation complexity contributed to a lower-than-hoped-for bid response.  While the SBC pre-approved 109 sub-trade contractors, just over half chose to submit bids.
    • Didn’t we know all of that before we went out to bid? We built in contingency and escalation factors that were slightly higher than industry norms, but as our construction manager Consigli noted, you don’t really know what the cost will be until “the market speaks to you.” The cost and complexity of renovating an existing building to meet our education and net zero goals, while competing with new construction projects in nearby towns, has proven to be more expensive than expected.

What about going forward? What are the cost controls?

  • Guaranteed Maximum Price:  After March 28, when we have the final word from the community about what will be included in the project, the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) will be set.  This price covers all the work that is in the bid documents and there is shared responsibility between the contractor (Consigli) and the owner (Town of Lincoln) to meet that price.
  • Contingencies: A construction contingency of 2.5% is carried by Consigli and 5% is carried by the Town.  These contingencies are meant to conservatively account for the kinds of routine events that can occur in a project (for example, if drawings need slight modification to respond to an existing condition, or if additional work is needed to implement the modification).  
  • What is or is not covered, and who is responsible? (some examples)
    • If a subcontractor makes a mistake, the cost of fixing the mistake is borne by Consigli (for example, the workmanship is not of the quality specified, or if materials are damaged).
    • If the Town wants changes to the project after the GMP is set, it comes out of our contingency (for example, if we choose a different material for the floors, or if we require additional outlets in a classroom).
    • If there is a high-impact unforeseen situation that is outside the realm of the contingency (for example, if as we excavate, we discover dinosaur bones, uranium, or oil), then we either need to value engineer more items out of the project to stay on budget or explore our options with the Town.
  • Are we confident that there is enough contingency built into the project? Yes. The SBC has asked this question many times and in as many ways it can think of, and the project team says that we have built in enough contingency.

What is on the warrant?

  • About $2M of priority items related to the educational program, quality of the interior and exterior environment, community use of the building and the campus, and the long-term value of our investment. The SBC and the Finance Committee are discussing whether this request will come forward as one or more motions.  The SBC will update the community as soon as that information is finalized.
  • Funds from the Cable Revolving Fund to be used for technology upgrades in the Auditorium (note: This is not a new request.  Originally this was on the Annual Town Meeting warrant.  It has been moved to the STM to keep all project-related items together.)

2 SBC Meetings This Week

Monday, February 24, 7:30am, Hartwell Multipurpose Room

The SBC will be meeting Monday morning from 7:30am – 8:00am in the Hartwell Multipurpose Room. In preparation for upcoming meetings with the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee, the SBC will review the $3.5M list of items that had to be cut in order to keep the project on budget, begin prioritizing the list, and discuss possible funding mechanisms.

Wed., February 26, 7:00pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room

The SBC will hold its regular meeting and continue the above conversation.

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