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.
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.
Up Next: On July 25th, the SBC will focus on two big topics:
Building Exterior: SMMA/EwingCole will introduce plans for the building’s exterior. How will the new central entrance/Commons look? What kinds of materials will we use?
Site Plan: How will bus and car drop-offs work? Where do pedestrians and cyclists go? What are the opportunities for outdoor learning spaces? Where is the parking?
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:
August 8th: Focus on mechanical, electrical, plumbing systems, wall and roof systems, and photovoltaic arrays.
August 22nd: Community charette to focus on interior spaces and security.
September 5th: Finalize floor plans, site plans, systems, sustainability features. Plans must be finalized to begin cost estimation process.
The fall schedule (updated as of June 20th) is posted here.
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?”
SBC members and audience members will be put together in groups to focus on and discuss a specific topic (this week – Hubs and the Commons).
The design team (SMMA/EwingCole) will guide us through the issues that need to be considered.
Groups will ask questions and generate ideas; the SBC will decide which ideas SMMA/EwingCole should incorporate into the next iteration of the design.
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…
Review of Site Circulation (traffic flow for cars, buses, bikes, pedestrians)
Review of updated Floor Plans
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.
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.
The High Tech High School in San Diego was founded in 2000 with one school. It was built around the concept of “project-based learning” – an interdisciplinary, problem-solving approach to education. The model has grown into a network of schools in California including four elementary schools, four middle schools and six high schools. https://www.hightechhigh.org/hth/
Department of Defense Educational Activity (DoDEA): DoDEA operates 194 schools serving over 86,000 students. Statistically, DoDEA is the 34th largest school district in the nation though its schools are spread out across the US and the world. In 2011, DoDEA developed its framework for school design based on 21st century education principles. https://www.usace.army.mil/Media/News-Archive/Article/477949/engineering-the-future-usace-designs-builds-dodeas-21st-century-schools/ This is very relevant for Lincoln, as the framework was used to design both the Hanscom Middle School (completed in 2016) and the Hanscom Primary School (under construction). Our faculty is already teaching in this kind of facility.
Mr. Poinelli noted that a number of districts have multiple schools designed around a hub approach, including Saskatchewan, Canada and Snohomish, WA
The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) is now accommodating hub-based designs into the projects they approve. The SBC toured one of these schools, the Gates Middle School, in Scituate. Here is a recent WGBH news item about project based learning at Gates.
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:
Lack of acoustical isolation – classrooms that were open to each other or separated by poor quality operable partitions. Operable partition technology has improved significantly as has acoustical engineering.
HVAC systems within the teaching spaces, which often made distracting noise. Today we can create teaching environments that are very quiet, improving speech intelligibility for the benefit of all students.
Lack of visual isolation – the teaching spaces opened to each other with little option to close them off.
History tells us that in many communities with open plan schools, there was little teacher professional development conducted in how best to use these new schools. By contrast, the Lincoln Public Schools administration and Hanscom Middle School faculty spent two years planning how to optimize their new environment while they waited for the building to be constructed. The Primary School faculty is now doing the same.
Over the past 30 years there has been significant brain research that informs us how we learn and how many of us learn differently from each other. This has had a real impact on how we design learning environments today. Mr. Poinelli commented that “if the educators need to grow into the building, the architects have done their job.”
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.