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Tag: Meetings

Settling into place…

All the modular units are in place, and work in underway to connect them. Each unit contains the halves of two classrooms and half a hallway, so when two get attached, they create two classrooms and a part of a hallway. All the units will be connected so that it is a self-contained K-4 building.

Dates to Note…

Inside & Out

At last week’s meeting, the SBC got a look at the latest refinements to the interior design of the school. The design and color palette will knit together the renovated and new portions of the building. The image above shows the new entry lobby of the school. See how this kind of ceiling looks in real life here, and see other interior images here.


As reported in earlier posts, the SBC went through a Value Engineering (VE) exercise at the end of the 60% Construction Documents Phase to keep the project on budget. The single biggest savings ($500K+) was achieved by replacing the proposed concrete panel system on the upper levels of the Auditorium and Reed with brick. On Wednesday, the SBC reviewed several brick options, and chose a contrasting brick that will complement the accent brick being used on other parts of the building. The 3 photos below show: 1) the current building; 2) the previous concrete panel design; and 3) the new proposal. Click here for the entire slide deck, and here for the monthly project budget report.

Current Auditorium & Reed Gym
Concrete panel system
Current design proposal

The SBC will now meet once per month. The next meeting is on Wednesday, October 16th, 7pm, Hartwell multipurpose room.

Value Engineering – Part 2

At the end of each phase of the school project, the project team performs a new round of cost estimating. We are now at the end of the 60% Construction Documents phase, and at last Wednesday’s meeting the SBC reviewed the latest estimates. They came in about $2.8M above budget, so the SBC is engaged in Value Engineering to keep the project on budget. Here is a brief synopsis of the project’s cost estimation history:

  • The project scope and budget was set at $93.9M by the June 2018 Special Town Meeting.
  • In September 2018, at the end of Schematic Design, the reconciled cost estimate was $104M, and the SBC went through an extensive round of Value Engineering to keep the project on budget.
  • At a Special Town Meeting and ballot vote in December 2018, the $93.9M project was approved. The tax impact of the bond is here.
  • In April 2019, at the end of Design Development, the cost estimates determined that the project was on budget.

So if the project was on budget in April, why did the latest estimates come in higher?

  • Our project is about 75% renovation/25% new construction.
  • Two major goals of the project are to 1) ensure a comfortable and healthy learning environment, and 2) make the building net zero.
  • Meeting those goals means there is a heavy emphasis on the building envelope and the mechanical systems.
  • The 60% Construction Documents phase is when the specifications and details of those systems are determined. Therefore, this difference in cost estimates is not unusual.

The SBC began the process of cutting costs last Wednesday, and the process will continue over the next couple of weeks. An additional SBC meeting has been added on this coming Wednesday, September 4th, 7pm, in the Hartwell multipurpose room.

Click here to see a comparison of the three cost estimates.


Is the project continuing to meet its EUI (energy use intensity) goal of ~23? To find out, click here. To learn more about net zero and EUI, visit the FAQs home page.

Exterior Update

Last Wednesday, while the sun was still up, the SBC spent part of its meeting outside looking at proposed exterior materials in natural light. As a result, the SBC approved 1) a red brick that mimics the brick on the current Smith School; 2) a dark, warm gray accent brick; and 3) a pallet of three cement board colors that will be used on the upper portions of the Auditorium and Reed Gym.

In addition, SMMA presented an updated HVAC plan.

Click here to see the entire slide deck from the meeting.

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, August 14, 7pm, Hartwell.

Interior Design…Blending Old and New

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.

 

See the Latest Design Updates!

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”).

Upcoming Meetings:

  • 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.

 

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