Not Our First Rodeo…

Interior DesignAt the January 23rd SBC meeting, the SBC got a look at design concepts for the the interior of the school.  SMMA talked about choosing interior finishes that 1) create a calmer visual environment; 2) are durable; and 3) stay within our budget. This is made a bit more challenging by the fact that this is a renovation project, and that a number of colorful items will remain in place (i.e. teal countertops and cabinets in some rooms). As the interior is planned, it is important to think about future repairs and replacement when choosing the finishes, and later, the furniture. For example, we don’t want to specify 400 kiwi green chairs only to discover that a) the color will soon be discontinued, or b) that in a few years the “kiwi” of 2019 reminds us too much of the “avocado” of 1979. Fortunately, our administrative team has spent the last several years making these kinds of decisions for the Hanscom Primary and Middle Schools. We are able to draw on this depth of experience and the lessons learned.

Project ScheduleOur Construction Manager, Consigli, presented two important pieces of information at the meeting:

  1. Their cost estimate for the project (based on the Schematic Design phase) came in at essentially the same cost as the prior two estimates by SMMA and Daedalus. There will be another round of cost estimates in late March at the end of the Design Development phase.
  2. Consigli believes that the project can be completed by the start of the 2022/23 school year.  This is about six months earlier than previously planned (the image above shows a comparison of the old and new project schedules). This is one advantage of using a construction manager versus the “design, bid, build” construction method. Consigli is on board now, is part of the detailed investigation of existing conditions, and can help solve problems before difficult (or costly) issues arise.

Site Work: A Site Plan working group was brought together to think through refinements to the site plan. The initial meeting included representation from SMMA, Daedalus, the administrative team, the Conservation Commission, Parks & Recreation, the Roadway & Traffic Committee, the Cycling Safety Committee, and the SBC. The group will examine site related issues and bring ideas and recommendations to the SBC for its consideration.

Rule #10…Revisited…

“It never gets easier, you just go faster.”  

– attributed to Greg LeMond, Rule #10, http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/

You may remember this cycling quote from our blog post after June 9th…It is equally appropriate now! Given all that will get accomplished between now and the end of April, it is the perfect message to get the SBC and design teams through the work ahead! So, once again, grab a power bar, fill your water bottle, and get ready to shift gears – here we go!

Welcome Consigli!

Consigli was chosen as the project’s construction team.  Since we are using a “Construction Manager at Risk” model, Consigli is now on board and part of this new phase, and they will see the project through to completion. Dave Curry, Director of Pre Construction and Estimating, and Christian Riordan, Project Executive, joined the SBC at its meeting last week. Visit the Project Team page to meet all of our design, OPM, and SBC members.

What’s Ahead?

We are now embarking on an intensive Design Development (DD) process that will take us through April 2019. The full schedule of meetings is posted on the www.lincolnsbc.org home page.

The DD phase develops and finalizes the key architectural and engineering components.

  • At the end of DD there is another round of cost estimates to ensure the project is on budget.
  • At the end of April, the Construction Documents phase will begin. 

Working with Town Boards:

  • The SBC and design team will work through a set of permitting requirements in conjunction with several town boards:
    • Conservation Commission
    • Historical Commission
    • Planning Board
  • Power Purchase Agreement Working Group:  The School Committee will appoint a working group, which will include representation from the Green Energy Committee and the Finance Committee, to develop the PPA. This work will be in collaboration with the SBC and design/construction team.

In addition, there will be an Educational Leadership working group, comprised of school leaders, that will work with the design team throughout the DD process. Also, as they did at the start of the feasibility study process, SMMA will meet with mulitple faculty groups at the start of the DD phase.

Finally, there will be a Logistics Working Group, comprised of representatives from SMMA, Daedalus, Consigli, and school and SBC leadership. This group will meet regularly throughout DD.


How can community members stay up to date?

Here is a “level of interest” guide to get you through the next several months:

“Big milestones…”

  • Update at Annual Town Meeting, Saturday, March 23, 2019.
  • April 24, 2019 SBC Meeting: Final cost estimate before Construction Documents phase begins.

” I want to keep track of the details…”

“I want to be fully involved…”

  • Please come to SBC meetings!
  • This is an intense, complex, iterative process, and each meeting will advance us further.
  • Watch the meetings on the town video website.

Do you have ideas for the website?

The website has been changed around a bit to reflect this new phase. Do you have suggestions to make it easier to navigate? Contact the Outreach Team at sbc@lincnet.org!

Thank you…

…to the almost 1000 fellow citizens who came to Town Meeting.

…to the over 1600 voters who voted at the ballot box.

…to the many people who regularly attended and participated in SBC meetings.

…to everyone who participated in outreach sessions, sent us questions, or came to community forums.

…to our design and Owner’s Project Manager teams.

…to other Lincoln boards and committees that spent time analyzing and shaping the project, and then preparing the town to understand its ramifications.

…to the School’s and Town’s professional teams that supported the SBC’s work in innumerable ways.

…to all those who asked hard questions, and those that helped articulate answers.

…to the fleet of people who took care of all the December 1st and December 3rd logistics: Our public safety officers, our custodial teams, our technology teams, our administrative support teams.

…to those who provided sustenance, and those who tended children, at Town Meeting.

…to the people who talked about the project with neighbors, friends, and new acquaintances.

This has been an intense period of community focus and engagement, and it really does “take a village.”

And now a new type of work begins… 

  • SBC Meeting, Wednesday, December 5th, 7:00pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room
  • The Design Development phase begins, and will last about 4 months.
  • After Wednesday’s meeting, the SBC will publish a schedule of what to expect in the coming months.
  • SBC meetings remain open to the public.

Remember…

…way back in March of 2017 when we were young, carefree, and just starting this process?

Sometimes, unless you are in the Lincoln School every day, it is easy to forget some of the basic reasons we are deciding, THIS SATURDAY, on a school project.

In March 2017, Town Meeting voted unanimously to release $750K that had been previously set aside for a school study, and to start again on developing a Lincoln School project. That vote indicated agreement that the condition of the school needed to be addressed. What do those basic infrastructure needs look like?

  • Big systems are at or beyond life expectancy. As a result, classrooms are often uncomfortably cold or hot, disrupting learning and impacting teaching:
    • HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) – The school does not have dehumidification or cooling except in selected areas.
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
    • Building Envelope: roof, windows, insulation
  • There is no fire suppression system.
  • The school does not meet current snow load, structural, or seismic codes.
  • The school and the site do not meet current codes to accommodate people with disabilities.
  • Entryways do not conform to best practices either for security or energy efficiency.

To see some images, click here. Also, click on the image below to see a short video taken a couple of weeks ago in our elementary Wellness (aka Physical Education) teachers’ office.

Does that mean we’re not keeping up with maintenance? 

No. Each year we have voted as a town to fund a maintenance budget for the Lincoln Schools of about $75,000.  The town has a creative and skilled facilities maintenance team that gets the most out of that money by finding parts for obsolete equipment on eBay, making parts, and an endless array of other inventive solutions. About six years ago, for example, they re-sealed the seams on the roof to try to eke out a few more years before a project. It is worth noting that when we were working with the MSBA, which takes a dim view of towns that purposely avoid routine care, they complimented our facilities team on what they were accomplishing through basic maintenance.

Why can’t we just do this in stages?

The cost of replacing major systems means that they must be done as a capital project because they are outside the price range of the operating budget. Each year, the Capital Planning Committee gathers all the capital requests from each town agency, and works collaboratively to prioritize and do long-range planning. When the school department approached CapCom in 2002, the magnitude of the building’s needs led everyone to agree that it would be wise to do a more comprehensive study of the buildings on campus. Since 2003, multiple town committees and six independent consultants have come to the conclusion that a single project is 1) most cost effective; and 2) least disruptive to our children’s education.

  • Because building-wide systems need to be replaced, there is no area of the school that will be untouched. As a one-school town, there is no other place to house students while work is being done, and it is too extensive to complete over summers or vacations.
  • It does not make sense to do the same work twice, i.e. open up the walls to replace the heating system, and then go back and open up the walls to replace the electrical or plumbing systems.
  • Doing extensive work requires us to bring the building up to current safety, accessibility, and structural codes.
  • We want to minimize the time students and teachers are operating in a construction zone.

On June 9th, the Town considered a $49M option that would have addressed the building’s basic needs. In the first round of voting, almost 96% of those at Town Meeting rejected that solution and chose one of the other project concepts that went beyond repair and addressed additional needs.

Over these final few days before Saturday’s vote, we will try to condense and revisit information that has been shared over the past months.  If you have questions, please write a comment or contact the SBC.

Thank you!

-The Outreach Team


Just for Fun:  What is “Budget Falls”?

  • A.  The latest Wall Street exposé by Michael Lewis.
  • B.  A thriller set in an abandoned mill town.
  • C.  What the students named the plastic tarp catching the leaks in the Brooks Hallway.

Click here for the answer!

 

SOTT Recap

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!

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):

  • 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.
    • Exterior architecture.
    • 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

 

Putting the Pieces Together – This Week is “All School All the Time”!

We’ve talked a lot about the complexity of the Lincoln School project – this week multiple Town boards and committees have the project on their agendas. Each will dive into the details as seen through the lens of their committee’s charge.  On Thursday, many boards will meet together to try to understand how all the pieces of the project are fitting into place. Please join us – All the meetings are open to the public! Find more information at www.lincolntown.org and www.lincolnsbc.org    

Monday, October 15th:

  • Board of Selectmen, 6:30pm, Donaldson Room, Town Offices
  • Parks & Recreation (PRD) Committee, 7:00pm, Hartwell PodA, Ballfield Road
  • Capital Planning Committee, 7:30pm, Selectmen’s Office, Town Offices

Tuesday, October 16th:

  • Finance Committee, 7:30pm, Donaldson room, Town Offices
    • Cash flow estimates and bond strategies
    • Solar arrays for the school: capital expenditure vs. power purchase agreement
    • Use of stabilization funds

Wednesday, October 17th: 

  • School Building Committee, 7:00pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room, Ballfield Road
    • Continue value-engineering process
    • Prepare for October 20th State of the Town

Thursday, October 18th:

  • MULTI BOARD MEETING, 7:00pm, Hartwell PodB, Ballfield Road.
  • On the Agenda:
    • Update on the project’s scope of work and cost estimates.
    • Finance Committee update
    • Other funding sources? Grants? Green energy credits or rebates?
    • Develop a list of questions that need to be answered by boards/committees before December 1st – assign questions to the relevant committee

FridayNO MEETINGS! 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20th: 

  • SPECIAL TOWN MEETING & STATE OF THE TOWN!
  • 9:00am – 12:30pm, Auditorium

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Engaging with Our Neighbors

  • December 1stSpecial Town Meeting
  • December 3rdBallot Vote

The votes to fund the school project are fast approaching! Do you and your friends and neighbors want to learn more? Would you be willing to host an information session? 

The SBC wants to come to your neighborhood to share information and answer questions about the project! If you’re willing to gather some friends and neighbors in your home for an hour or so in November, members of the SBC will run an informal conversation about the project. To schedule a time, please contact Kim Bodnar at kimbodnar1007@gmail.com.

Inspiring Future Architects…

A Lincoln School student sat in on a recent SBC meeting.  How did he spend his time? He drew his ideal floor plan while listening to the discussion about the central dining and learning commons! We thank him for his willingness to share his drawing – click here to see it!

Welcome to the SBC Rollercoaster…

Sometimes you’re up…
There has been a lot of discussion over the past many weeks about the floor plan in the central part of the Lincoln School, the part comprised of the media center (library), dining commons, kitchen, and learning commons. After a number of permutations, the design team took the feedback it was getting from the SBC and the community, and developed one more. It was well-received by the SBC and the community members in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting! Here are some of the reasons:

  • It “flips” the location of the media center and the 3rd grade neighborhood from the previous iteration.
  • It moves the 3rd grade closer to the 4th grade, making it easier for them to share a “swing classroom” (one that shifts according to enrollment needs).
  • The main entrance faces the media center instead of the 3rd grade. It gives the 3rd grade more privacy, and makes it easier to close off the classroom spaces from the more public, community areas.
  • It allows for transparency and flow through the building from east to west.

The SBC voted to move forward with an analysis of how this floor plan works 3-dimensionally and how it impacts cost. Click on the image below to see the slides from Wednesday’s meeting.

And sometimes…
Also on Wednesday, the SBC got the initial draft cost estimates from two independent estimators. We knew that there was a possibility that the initial estimates could come in higher than the $93.9M we voted for in June. Nevertheless, it did not make it any easier to hear that the draft estimates were $102M and $109M. So now what?

  • The estimators, our Owners Project Manager, and our design team are going through the estimates line by line to ensure they are estimating the same scope, materials, quantities, and costs.
  • The reconciled initial estimates will be presented to the SBC on Wednesday, October 3rd.
  • Also on the 3rd, the design team will bring forward a set of possible ways to cut cost. The SBC will begin to evaluate and make decisions about each of these options. This is likely to require additional time at subsequent meetings.
  • Throughout this “value-engineering” process, the challenge for the SBC will be to make responsible cost-cutting decisions that maintain the integrity and long-term value of the project, while achieving the target budget of $93.9M.
  • NOTE: At this stage of schematic design in 2012 the initial draft estimates were above the target budget. The 2012 SBC went through this same process and successfully brought the project to the target budget – it is not easy, but we are committed.

Please join us!

  • October 3rd: Next SBC Meeting, 7pm, Hartwell Multipurpose Room
  • October 18th: Multi Board Meeting, 7pm – 9pm, location TBA
  • October 20th: Special Town Meeting AND State of the Town Meeting, 9am – 12:30pm, Lincoln School Auditorium
  • November 15th: Multi Board Community Forum, 7pm – 9pm, location TBA

We wait…

…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!

9/12 iteration of the Dining Commons