You know that when there is a clock on the wall that final pieces of the project are starting to fall into place! Teachers will be able to move into their classrooms the week of August 22nd, and school starts on September 6th.
SAVE THE DATE! THE COMMUNITY IS INVITED TO THE OFFICIAL RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28 @ 1:30pm!
Building tours on Friday after the ceremony and on Saturday afternoon, October 29.Stay tuned for more details!
Remember how excited we were to see the temporary school being built? We are now just as thrilled to see it being deconstructed! One by one, the modular units are being prepared for transport to their new home at the Nauset Regional High School. It will take a couple of weeks to remove the temporary school, the concrete footings, and the parking lot. After that, reconstruction of the field can begin.
Also, at this week’s meeting, we learned:
Installation of playground equipment will begin soon!
The racks that support the PV panels on the roof are being installed. Work began on top of the Middle School (Reed) Gym and will progress along the building.
Concrete and paving work continues on the Commons courtyard, main entrance, and walkways.
Interior finishes are well underway, and final clean-up is starting at the preK/Kindergarten end of the building.
The link to the meeting presentation is here, and more photos have been added to the July gallery.
*Our thanks to Peter von Mertens for the title of the blog post!
Town Meeting is on Saturday, March 26 at 9:30am in the Auditorium!
Middle School Open House 8:00am – 9:00am: Come see the renovated Middle School! (no guided tours, the public can wander through the building and faculty and student docents will be on hand).
Town Elections are on Monday, March 28 from 7:30am – 8:00pm in the Middle School (Reed) Gym!
What is Town Meeting? It’s the day when residents come together to vote on Town and School budgets, capital investments, town bylaws, and citizens’ petitions.
Who can vote at Town Meeting? Everyone who is registered to vote in the Town of Lincoln is a voter at Town Meeting! If you are a resident but not a registered voter, you are still welcome to attend. If there is a closely contested vote, you will be asked to move to a designated area while counting occurs. The meeting will be livestreamed, and state law requires in-person voting.
Will there be votes affecting the school building project? Yes! There are three votes that impact the project:
Article #11: Modular removal and field restoration: The School Committee has approved an agreement to sell the modular classrooms to the Nauset Regional School District for $550,000. From those proceeds the School Committee is asking for $350,000 to remove the modular school and restore the field. The work will include dismantling the temporary school, removing the concrete footers and temporary parking lot, and, finally, restoring the field. Nauset needs to have the classrooms in place for the start of school in Fall 2022. While the sale is happening now, the funds from the proceeds of the $550,000 sale, will not be available for use until FY2025. This means asking residents to approve Article 11 now in order to keep our project on schedule. Once the proceeds from the sale of the modulars are certified, they will be used to reimburse the town.
Article #10 is the list of projects recommended by the Capital Planning Committee. The list includes a proposal to reallocate the remaining $200,000 from the sale of the modulars to replace the building lighting control system in the Middle School. The Audacy system was chosen through the bidding process in 2020 and installed as part of Phase 1. It is a cloud-based system that includes smart outlets, manual controls, and occupancy sensors throughout the building. In 2021, Audacy’s new parent company announced that it would discontinue the system and eliminate product support in 2026 at the latest. In addition, the Audacy components installed in the Middle School have already proven to be problematic. Our project team has been a strong advocate for us, and the supplier of the Audacy system is providing us, free of charge, a replacement Lutron system that is similar to what is being used in the Hanscom schools. The Lutron system is now being installed in the Primary School. The $200,000 we are requesting, along with $135,000 from the project budget, will be used to remove the Audacy system and install the Lutron system in the Middle School over the summer. Addressing this issue now will save the Town money when compared to doing it in the future after the construction project is complete.
Article #24 is sponsored by the Select Board. Before construction began, as the SBC went through the value engineering process, the town agreed to utilize money in the Cable Fund to support new cable television infrastructure in the school. The Cable Fund comes from annual fees paid to the town by Comcast and Verizon. As a result, it takes votes over the course of several years to allocate funds to the project.
Here are the slides from last Wednesday when the SBC provided a Town Meeting update. Click here to see the March gallery.
SAVE THE DATE: ANNUAL TOWN MEETING SATURDAY, MARCH 26TH – in the renovated Auditorium!!!
As the Lincoln School renovation progresses, the project team is planning for the complicated logistics required to bring it to a close. Four major pieces of the puzzle are: 1) installation of the photovoltaic (PV) system; 2) removal of the temporary classrooms; 3) field restoration; and 4) repaving the road and parking lots. Here is what we know:
Our 1 megawatt PV system will include rooftop panels and canopies over both parking lots. There will also be a 500 kilowatt battery storage system.
The PV system is being installed by SunPower. The terms of the contract have been finalized and the rate for solar electricity is locked in for the next 25 years. Many thanks to our negotiation team, (Buck Creel, Jim Hutchinson, and our consultant from Beacon Integrated Systems) and our PPA Subcommittee (Alex Chatfield, Tim Christenfeld, Buck Creel, Jim Hutchinson, Ed Kern, and Peter Watkinson)!
The photo above shows prep work that was completed in the Middle School parking lot. Work to prepare the Primary School parking lot will begin in May.
Installation of the PV panels will begin this summer. Supply chain issues have delated the receipt of long lead-time equipment, but the goal is to have the system fully operational by March 2023.
The School Committee is finalizing an agreement to sell the temporary classrooms for $550,000; the purchasing district needs them in place by the start of school in Fall 2022.
Removal of the temporary school will begin in July; the temporary parking lot and concrete footers will need to be removed before playing field restoration can begin. Click here to see photos of the installation process we went through starting Summer 2019 through Spring 2020.
It will take at least 2 growing seasons until the playing fields are ready for use; target is Fall 2023.
PV installation, removal of the temp classrooms, and restoration of the field are being closely coordinated with the final repaving of the upper portion of the Ballfield Road loop and parking lots. Reminder: the lower portion of the loop will not be repaved as part of the project; will need to be a future town project.
Click here to see the slide deck from the meeting.
…We are reminded that the school project is a complicated renovation. Along the way, lessons have been learned and are being applied to the second phase of construction. Here is one highly visible example:
When the Middle School was renovated, the existing exterior walls were preserved in many places. Because we are super-insulating the school, it was crucial to carefully apply a vapor barrier on the entire exterior of the building (a.k.a. building envelope). The project team quickly realized that the condition of the existing walls did not provide the high-quality surface needed for the vapor barrier to work properly. After several solutions were explored, the construction team decided to “parge” the exterior of the Middle School. Essentially, a skim coat was applied to the entire building envelope to create a smooth surface. This work required a lot of time and a significant dip into the project’s contingency funds.
That is why the exterior of the Primary School was demolished. New walls will be built incorporating the insulation and vapor barrier required to meet our sustainability goals. This meant using some contingency funds up front for the increase in demolition. The result will provide long-term value to the project.
What will it look like in a year? Looking at the shell and gaping holes in the building, it is hard to remember what it will look like when it is complete in the Fall of 2022.
The empty space where the original building was demolished will make way for the new main entrance, the Learning Commons, a new 3rd-grade classroom neighborhood, the central Administrative suite, and a new Media Center.
The remaining buildings will be renovated to hold grades preK-2.
Honoring Our History…Building Our Future. This statement has been at the head of every blog post since 2017, but how does it really relate to the project? Since the beginning of the project, the School Building Committee (SBC) has collaborated with about a dozen town boards and departments, and this work has helped to shape a project that serves our educational goals and advances the town’s commitment to sustainability, while reflecting the history of the building and the campus.
One of the SBC’s partners throughout the process has been the Lincoln Historical Commission (LHC). The LHC is the town board that administers Lincoln’s “Demolition Delay Bylaw” (article XXI of the town’s bylaws) which requires every building project that includes demolition to meet with the LHC to determine 1) whether the structure has historical, architectural, or cultural significance; and if so, 2) whether the structure is “preferably preserved.” The LHC worked with the SBC to understand the architectural significance of the Lincoln School and to think about how to incorporate that history into the renovation.
To mark the transition from the first phase of the project to the second, we invited Andrew Glass, chair of the LHC, to write about the ways the renovated building pays tribute to its innovative history while creating a learning environment that will serve our students for decades to come.
The Lincoln School: Smith Building and Brook Building Complexes
Lincoln residents and architects Lawrence B. Anderson (1906-1994) and Henry B. Hoover (1902-1989) made significant contributions to Modern architecture in Lincoln. Dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Anderson, with his firm Anderson & Beckwith, designed several buildings for the Lincoln School campus, including the Smith complex from 1947 through the early 1950s and the Hartwell building in 1957. Hoover designed more than three dozen Modern houses and municipal buildings in Lincoln, including, in 1937, Lincoln’s first Modern house. With his firm Hoover & Hill, Hoover also designed several buildings for the Lincoln School campus, including the three Hartwell pods between 1959 and 1964 and the Brooks complex between 1963 and 1964.
The oldest part of the Lincoln School, the Smith Building complex was one of the earliest school buildings in the nation to incorporate Modern design principles. Architectural Forum recognized the innovative qualities of the complex in an August 1950 article, which can be found here. As noted by the Architectural Forum, these qualities include:
The transparency between the interior and exterior of the building achieved through the use of continuous bands of fenestration (windows);
Careful attention to how daylight enters the building, including through use of a sunshield between the lower and clerestory windows, which served to shade the lower windows from low-angle morning sun and reflect light up to the interior ceiling through the clerestory;
The use of long bar-shaped classroom buildings to create an encompassing gesture around the Center Field; and
The use of acoustical tiles to reduce noise reverberation in the classrooms.
Hoover’s Brooks Building complex built on these Modern design principles. In creating the auditorium, he used innovative acoustical “clouds” to help direct sound to the back of the theater. Hoover was a master of integrating the landscape into his designs, which is reflected in the close connection of each classroom to the exterior and in the creation of a courtyard in the Brooks Building complex.
For the current project, architectural firms SMMA and EwingCole are restoring much of the Smith Building complex and all of the Brooks Building complex, working within the Modern design principles developed by Anderson and Hoover.
Drawing on Anderson’s and Hoover’s legacy of the innovative use of technologies, the revitalized Lincoln School will be an all-electric, net zero building. To reduce heat load and solar glare in the classrooms, the design restores the use of sunshields as pioneered by Anderson. The filtered light will also reduce the need to rely on artificial lighting within classrooms.
Interestingly, because in the 1940s the Town chose to build a more costly gable roof rather than the shed roof proposed by Anderson, the Town opted not to build the dedicated cafeteria and kitchen that Anderson recommended. The revitalized School has a dedicated cafeteria and kitchen for the first time, the design of which draws on Anderson’s legacy of using continuous bands of fenestration and clerestory windows to create connections to the outdoors and to provide abundant natural daylight within the building.
Replacing the oldest portion of the Smith Building complex, the design for the new main entrance and Learning Commons also honors Anderson’s Modern design principles using transparent materials and sunshields.
Anderson’s gymnasium and Hoover’s classrooms with their innovative use of wooden beams will be restored for decades more use by students.
Honoring Hoover’s legacy of innovative open-plan interior spaces and close connections to the exterior, the revitalized School contains “hub” learning spaces for grades 3 through 8. Classrooms are arranged around a central common space promoting a neighborhood feeling among the teachers and students of a grade. Easily-operable glass partitions between the classrooms and the hub allow teachers and students to create larger or smaller learning spaces to suit the needs of students’ varying learning styles and allow the landscape to be seen well within the interior of the building.
The Dining Commons, Learning Commons, and Media Center will open directly onto outdoor terraces that will serve as outdoor learning spaces and community gathering areas during non-school hours. (Note: The construction of the Learning Commons in phase 2 required the demolition of the oldest Smith building. Click here to see videos showing the building before, during and after demolition!)
Finally, the School Project has restored the Auditorium, including the innovative acoustical clouds. The Town will enjoy many years of comfort at Town Meeting and performances in the newly renovated space!
The LHC appreciates SMMA’s and EwingCole’s sensitive renovation of the Smith and Brooks buildings and the creative incorporation of Modern design principles into the revitalization project. – Andrew Glass
This week’s SBC meeting is being held on Tuesday, September 14th at 7:00pm via Zoom. Agenda and link can be found here.
Power outages are always an exciting topic of conversation in Lincoln and the school is a not-infrequent victim of branches falling on the wires that run between the road and the school. One very important aspect of the building project is that the electric lines are being buried under ground. This work has begun, most noticeably along the road between the center field and Hartwell.
With Deep Gratitude…
Because of a very generous gift from an anonymous donor, we will be able to restore the plan to build the courtyard outside of the Learning and Dining Commons. The design includes three large benches that will be made from several salvaged oak trees from Ballfield Road and from granite pieces that are on Lincoln conservation land. The SBC is very excited that the courtyard has been reinstated into the project! It will become a wonderful school and community asset.
We don’t mean to “drone” on…
…but we hope you’ll enjoy this aerial view of the construction site that was provided to us by our Owner’s Project Manager. They plan to take videos on a monthly basis, so stay tuned for more as we all watch the progress! More project photos are here.
Next (Virtual) SBC Meeting: Wednesday, September 16th @7:00pm.
Turning a building that was constructed between 1946 and 1994 into a unified, net zero building requires building super-insulated exterior walls and roofs. This work is now underway and you can see the footprint of the new outer walls. Not only does this work allow us to create the insulated exterior, it also provides a bit more interior space for the new Dining Commons and the middle school hub spaces. Click here to see the latest photos.
The SBC meets this week on Wednesday, August 12th at 7:00pm via Zoom. The agenda and Zoom link will be available here on Monday.