Click the image to play the video (and turn on the volume!)
And if you weren’t able to make it to Town Meeting on Saturday, and want to watch the presentations or hear the questions, you can watch it here!
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:
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.
State of the Town Update
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):
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:
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:
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:
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
July 11th Recap: At last week’s meeting, the SBC looked at a new iteration of the floor plan, discussed components of sustainability, and reviewed an updated project schedule. The meetings are now being televised, and you can watch the July 11th meeting here.
The slides from the meeting are posted here.
Up Next: On July 25th, the SBC will focus on two big topics:
Sizzling Summer: The rest of the summer is equally fast-paced! Once again there was great public participation on July 11th, and the SBC is grateful that so many people are making SBC meetings a priority. We look forward to seeing you all for the following meetings:
Wow! About 50 people gathered for last Wednesday’s SBC meeting – We were so excited to have this kind of participation, and impressed by everyone’s fortitude in sticking it out until 11:30pm! It was an action-packed evening that included a presentation by students from the Boston Architectural College (BAC), and a “charette” style conversation about the hub spaces and central commons. Here’s a recap:
BAC Presentation: Rashmi Ramaswamy, faculty member, came with three BAC students and presented the work they did with Lincoln School students. The BAC students held sessions with both elementary and middle school students to teach them about the purpose of architecture, the design process, and elements of design. Here are the slides from their presentation. Our thanks to SBC member, Craig Nicholson, middle school Principal, Sharon Hobbs, and middle school Art teacher, Pam DiBiase for making this collaboration happen!
Charette: Hubs and the Commons: After SMMA made a presentation showing different configuration ideas for the hubs and the commons, small groups spent about an hour and a half examining the options, sketching, posing questions, and sharing out their ideas. This feedback will be used by SMMA/EwingCole to further develop the plans, which will be brought back to the SBC on July 25th. (We hope you’ll join us at 7:00pm, Hartwell multipurpose room!)
Site Planning: SMMA reviewed concepts for site circulation. Figuring out how to safely move cars, delivery trucks, buses, pedestrians, and cyclists around a campus bordered by wetlands is a complex task! The site plan will be the focus of the July 25th charette.
Up Next on July 11th – Building Envelope Charette: At the next SBC meeting, the charette will focus on the components of the building envelope (windows, walls, roof), which is a major component of what will make the building sustainable. If sustainability is important to you, NOW’s THE TIME TO COME!
Want to be inspired? A community member found this video about the Welkes Elementary School in Bainbridge Island, Washington. Enjoy!
Look! We’re on TV! (or the Web): We will be filming SBC meetings from now on. Last week’s meeting was filmed in two parts:
Interested in the configuration of Hub Spaces and the Commons?
Come to the SBC meeting on Wednesday, June 27th! As mentioned in last week’s blog post, over the next few months each meeting will feature a mini “charette” focused on a particular aspect of the design. Unless otherwise noted, all SBC meetings start at 7:00pm, Hartwell multipurpose room.
What is a “charette?”
This is crucial work, and if these details interest you NOW is the time to be involved! The Schematic Design process will be intense over the summer! By the start of September a final set of Floor Plans, Site Plans, and Elevations will be given to the cost estimators.
Also on June 27th…
At the July 11th meeting, the charette will focus on building envelope and sustainability. “Building envelope” refers to how the skin of the building is constructed – wall and roof materials, insulation, and windows.
Hubs – What are they?
Whether we are in big public forums, people’s living rooms, scanning Lincoln Talk, or standing in line at Donelan’s, one of the recurring conversations is about “hubs” – What are they? How do they change education? Are they a fad? Are they like my 1970’s open classroom? Is the hub model innovative enough?
The SBC revisited this topic at its May 30th meeting, when Philip J. Poinelli, FAIA, ALEP, LEED AP, MCPPO, Principal and Learning Environment Planner for SMMA, focused on these very questions.
What are hubs and how do they change education? As you can see in the image below, these spaces come with a variety of names (breakout spaces, learning commons, etc.). Generally, they are flexible, multi-use spaces that are adjacent to, and shared by multiple classrooms/learning studios. The idea is to transform the physical environment from a factory model (Classes of 18 – 24 students in a series of same-sized boxes along a corridor) to a neighborhood model (multi-sized spaces around a common area shared by a cohort of students and several teachers). This reflects and supports the fundamental shift in education that is already happening. The pace of change and access to information is such that it is difficult to predict the content students will be learning in 50 years, but we do know that they need to be able to think critically and imaginatively, access and evaluate information, and work collaboratively and across disciplines. Our faculty is already engaged in this kind of education. As School Committee Chair, Tim Christenfeld, noted during the May 30thSBC meeting, “There is an evolution in teaching, but there’s a disconnect between the teaching and the building.” Buildings have the power to facilitate and accelerate innovation.
Are hubs a fad? In his presentation, Mr. Poinelli gave several example of school systems that were pioneers in transformational school design, and that seeing their first buildings in action, have committed themselves to this model.
Are they like my 1970’s open classroom? No. Mr. Poinelli said that not all open plan schools had hubs and not all were unsuccessful, but those that failed likely had some of these characteristics:
Is the hub model innovative enough? When a group of resident educators presented to the SBC, the question arose whether the hub model was sufficiently forward-thinking. At the current concept-level phase, the project concepts L3 and C show (for grades 3 – 8) grade-level hubs surrounded by similarly sized classrooms. If one of these concepts is chosen on June 9th, the interior configuration of those grade-level clusters will be developed and refined, and it is possible that they could look more like the neighborhood model in this illustration. That design work will happen in conjunction with our educators. L3 and C provide enough square footage and heavy renovation/new construction to make those decisions possible. There is, inherently, more flexibility with the new construction of classroom wings than with the renovation of a cinderblock building.
Another FAQ the SBC often hears is “What is the threshold for code compliance?” After the 1994 school project linked the Smith and Brooks schools, the Lincoln School became a single building. Here is a high-level summary of the structural, accessibility and life-safety codes that will be addressed by all of the concepts under consideration.