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.
In December, the Finance Committee used estimated bond rates of 4% and 5% to model the projected tax impact of the project…
Last week the town’s finance team got an updated bond rating and was ready to put the initial project bond out to bid, locking in our interest rate. The initial bond is for $80M out of the $88.5M residents authorized the town to borrow in order to fund the $93.9M project ($4.4M from the Stabilization Fund and $1.0M from free cash make up the difference between $88.5M and $93.9M). The Finance Committee will give us the bid results and more details at Wednesday’s meeting!
Also on the agenda:
Review Updated Floor Plan
Review Updated Exterior Elevations and Materials
Review Interior Designs of Community Spaces
Review Updated Monthly Budget
The SBC meeting is on Wednesday, February 27th, 7:00pm, Hartwell multipurpose room.
At this Wednesday’s SBC meeting (January 23rd, 7:00pm, Hartwell multipurpose room), the SBC will spend the bulk of the meeting reviewing updated floor plans, interior design, and interior materials.
Cost Check: After the December vote, Consigli came on board as our Construction Manager. Since then, they have been examining the building and working with SMMA and Daedalus to understand the details of the project. In the past couple of weeks, Consigli conducted their own cost estimate based on the Schematic Design documents. This was an independent estimate of the construction costs, which they then reconciled with SMMA and Daedalus. Consigli’s estimate will be reviewed at Wednesday’s SBC meeting.
Managing the Process: In addition to the School Committee, SBC and school administration, town administration and multiple boards and committees are involved in some aspect of the project. A “chairs” meeting took place on January 14th to bring together SMMA, Daedalus, and representatives of Town entities to ensure that permitting efforts are coordinated and communication is efficient. The meeting included representation from town and school administration, the SBC, Finance Committee, Capital Planning Committee, Conservation Committee, Planning Board, Green Energy Committee, and the Historical Commission.
Each year, with input from the community, the Lincoln School Committee and Administrative Team set strategic priorities for the district. These priorities guide professional development and collaboration in the Lincoln School and in the Hanscom Schools. Since the new Hanscom Middle School opened in 2016, the district has had the opportunity to see how a school designed around grade-level neighborhoods and flexible common spaces can support our educational priorities, and how it makes it easier for our teachers to engage in the kinds of collaborations that spark creative and engaging curriculum.
Our teachers are our best educational resource. The building and environment can make their work easier or harder. Below are some resources to learn more about the impact of the learning environment:
“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 published by the site “The T74,” a non-partisan, non-profit site covering education in America.
Some Financial FAQs (with assistance from the Finance Committee & Town Finance Team)
I’ve seen that taxes would go up 17% – 19%. Would they keep going up by that much every year?
No. Paying for the bond is like making payments on a fixed rate, 30-year mortgage. The cost for the bond remains constant once it is fully added to the tax bill. However, unlike taking out a mortgage, the Town is likely to issue the bond in two “tranches” or pieces, that will mean the increase in taxes will likely be phased in over 3 years.
When would the project show up on my tax bill?
Based on the currently anticipated borrowing schedule, the first impact would occur in the tax bill for the second half of calendar year 2019.
Will it happen all at once?
No. Based on the currently anticipated borrowing schedule, about 45% of the total increase would appear on the tax bill for the 2nd half of calendar year 2019. That same amount would be included in both semi-annual tax bills of calendar year 2020, bringing that year’s added payments to 90% of the total increase. The two semi-annual added payments in calendar year 2021 would be slightly higher and add up to 95% of the total increase, and then the tax bills from calendar year 2022 onwards would have the full increase included. In other words, it will take about 3 years until we are paying the full “mortgage payment” on the school.
Now that we are in the home stretch, you will be hearing from the Outreach Team a bit more frequently – we thank you for understanding!
At Saturday’s State of the Town, the SBC gave an update on the Lincoln School project’s progress since June. Here are the highlights (see the slides, including information from the Finance Committee, here):
The SBC has focused on 6 major components of the project:
Classroom neighborhoods centered on “hub” spaces for grades 3 – 8.
The central “heart” of the school: flexible learning commons, media center (library), central dining commons, kitchen, and a central entrance.
Sustainability and systems: energy generation (photovoltaic panels), heating/cooling, insulation, safety & security, electrical, and plumbing systems.
Site plans: roads, walking and bike paths, and recreational spaces.
Phasing: where do students go during renovation?
Cost: For the past 3 weeks, the SBC has concentrated on a “value-engineering” process to keep the project on budget. What does that mean? Where are we now?
June 9th: The budget we chose as a Town was $93.9M.
September 26th: The SBC got estimates from 2 independent cost estimators. The draft estimates were $102M and $109M.
September 28th: The two estimators reconciled their estimates to $104M.
October 3rd: SBC’s task? Reduce the project by $10M!
SMMA presented about 100 items to consider cutting or reducing.
October 3rd – October 17th: The SBC closed the gap and brought the project back to budget! How? Most of the gap was closed by scaling back site work, negotiating for a better price on temporary classrooms, and choosing to pursue a Power Purchase Agreement to install photovoltaic panels instead of incurring this as a capital cost. NOTE: Value-engineering is not just about cutting cost, but about making trade-offs that maintain the long-term value of the project. For example, the SBC chose to add in a better heating/cooling system and accepted a small budget increase to enable us to move forward with the tweak to the design that provided a better floor plan for the central part of the school.
Next SBC Meeting: Wednesday, October 24th, 7pm, Hartwell
…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!
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.