On Budget…

The consensus of three independent cost estimates is that the project continues to be on budget! The Design Development phase is now drawing to a close, and the Construction Documents (CD) phase begins. The next round of cost estimates will been at “60% CD,” which means when the construction documents are 60% complete.

Project Schedule

At Wednesday’s meeting, our construction team from Consigli presented an updated project schedule. The schedule represents a lot of think about a wide range of details. The Logistics Sub Group, comprised of design and construction team members, along with our school admin and facilities team, will continue to refine the schedule and consider all aspects of the project: construction staging areas; safe traffic flow for cars, buses, construction vehicles, and pedestrians; wetlands and tree protection, etc. See the presentation here.

The chart below gives an overview of the latest information about how the project affects different grades and the community over the next several years. Refinements of the plan will continue!

Meeting Schedule:

  • April 22nd: The Site Sub Committee will meet at 9am, Hartwell multipurpose room.
  • April 24th: SBC meeting has been CANCELLED. This meeting was in place for value engineering. Due to the positive news about the budget estimates, it is not needed. Next SBC meeting is on May 8th.
  • April 25th: Outreach Committee meeting is CANCELLED.
  • May 1st: Conservation Commission will conduct the first of two public hearings on the plan for the modular classrooms.
  • The Outreach Team is taking a brief break. Look for the next blog post on May 5th!

The bottom line…

As mentioned in prior posts, the Design Development drawings were recently submitted for another round of cost estimation. Those estimates will be reviewed at this week’s SBC meeting.

Wednesday, April 10th, 7:00pm, Hartwell multipurpose room

  • Review preliminary construction costs
  • Review updated construction timeline
  • Subcommittee reports
  • Site permitting update

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