Welcome to the FAQ page!  Here you will find answers to some of Winchester's most frequently asked questions about the New Lynch project.  The content on this page will grow over time as the Communications Team receives questions and coordinates responses from the Project Team.  We will make every effort to post updates here bi-weekly and welcome your questions by email: Lynch2025FAQ@gmail.comKey webpage updates may also be posted on Twitter (#Lynch2025).   

- Lynch Project Communications Team  (Deb DePeter, Superintendent Frank Hackett, Tom Hopcroft, Lisa Matrundola and Chris Nixon)

Q: I saw an article in the Globe about two schools replacing their old oil boilers with geothermal heat pumps at a large savings, thanks to rebates or credits in the Inflation Reduction Act.  I immediately wondered what the plans were for the new Lynch school. Can you elaborate?   (November 2023)

A: Ground source heat pumps (so-called "geothermal") were considered in both the conceptual and schematic design of the New Lynch.  Working with the EFPBC's Sustainability Subcommittee, analyses by the project architect, mechanical engineer and sustainability consultants determined to provide air-source heat pumps for the new school with both roof-mounted and ground-mounted photovoltaic arrays for power generation.  A ground source system was projected to cost at least $2.5M more than the air-source approach, with additional construction risk and longer payback period.  The solar system for the New Lynch has been sized and designed with the intent of a true zero net energy building (generating as much or more energy in a year as the building consumes in normal operations), yielding low or even zero utility costs for power.  The Town will benefit from rebates established for this approach.

Q: What is the timeline for demolition of the existing Lynch Elementary School(July 2023)


A: As the "owner", the EPPBC and Town do not set the schedule for specific construction activities as this falls under the purview of the general contractor.  At this time, no general contractor is yet on board as the architect is actually still in the final phases of design.  We are scheduled to be going out to bid later this fall.  Once the general contractor and subcontractors are chosen then we will get a much clearer picture of the timing of specific phases of work.  There is, however, high confidence that there will be no demolition of Lynch before Thanksgiving.

Q: Are security threats and safety plans being evaluated in the New Lynch design?  Access control and lockdown plans are an important aspect of the overall planning, and rely on a design that supports such controls. How will access be controlled in and out of the school?  (November 2022)


A: As part of our shared process, the MSBA requires the Project Team consider appropriate security planning measures for every project. The Design Team has engaged a certified security planner to inform and assist in appropriate planning of the building.  An initial security meeting was held as part of the building design process in August to begin this process that included representatives from WPS administration, Town/DPW facilities personnel, public safety officials and the architectural/engineering team.  The focus of this discussion was on building and site layout using CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) methodologies.  Also discussed was entrance and access control design and active systems such as camera surveillance, access control, security systems and communications.  A specific discussion was included around classroom entrance design and building egress.  

An initial report was prepared which is confidential under SSI (Sensitive Security Information) designation and will not be made public.  During the later design phases of the project, security concepts will be developed further considering both design strategies and active building systems.

Q: [In reviewing PDP options], Tappé Architects mentioned there was not a large difference between the renovation + addition option and replacement option N5.  Can you expand on the cost difference from the information we know today?   (February 7, 2022)

A: Without a true design yet developed, the Project Team relies on current market bids/construction costs for similar work in developing comparative cost opinions, with escalation as recommended by professional cost estimators (two on this project).  Given the nature and scope of the work required at the existing Lynch in the AR2 (addition + renovation) option, which includes full abatement and gut to the structure similar to Winchester High School, the team believes that the construction cost of AR2 is within 3% of the the N5 replacement option.  

With the more substantial phasing and swing space requirements of AR2 vs N5, Tappé Architects and OPM Hill International believe AR2 would see greater project costs (soft costs) than N5, narrowing the cost differential even further.  Since AR2 and N5 were both advanced for PSR package submittal, more work is underway to better develop construction costs and project costs and this will be reviewed further once the the PSR is completed in March.

Q: Looking at overall enrollment numbers, we are ~7.5% below our high water mark from several years ago with predictions being flat over the next couple years (from School Committee meeting).  Does this change the space requirements needed for the project?  I see that the plan is larger than our initial master plan.   (February 7, 2022)

A:  Looking at the past decade of K-5 enrollment as reported to DESE each October 1st, today's Lynch at 506 students is 2.5% above the 10-year average of 451.5.  Today's enrollment is a 29% increase over the low watermark in this period (2012 SY) and a 4.9% decrease from the high watermark (2018 SY).  Housing development (with associated new students) is a key driver in developing design enrollment with the MSBA.  A number of developments are now underway which weren't imagined during the 2016-17 Master Plan, such as the River Street project (Lynch district).  Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on enrollment, the increase in enrollment from the 2019 to 2020 SY and on-going housing development, the Project Team and WPS Administration do not see a change in space requirements.  The Master Plan did not include a detailed space programming exercise, which includes specific recommendations by the MSBA, accommodation for an expanded Specialized Learning Center or a 7-classroom Pre-K suite (the latter, to address years of waitlists due to lack of space).

Q: It appears that students will be housed in modular classrooms at Parkhurst for the duration of the school project.  Is that correct and is it all children who will be relocated?   (May 31, 2022)

A:  Many students will be accommodated in modular classrooms, however a number of program functions including (but not limited to): art, music, PE, lunch will be run from more purposely-sized spaces inside the Parkhurst School.  In addition, nursing and some degree of Lynch administration will be located in the main building.  Superintendent Hackett is also evaluating options for temporary relocation of some Central Office staff currently housed at Parkhurst so as to make additional student spaces available in the main school building.  Exact space utilization/assignment is in development but still some time away.

Q: Will there be access to gyms, art space, music space, auditoriums or cafeteria's at the modular location?  (May 31, 2022)

A:  As noted above, modulars are expected to support core classroom spaces only and not serve as art, music, library, etc.  There will however be a dedicated accessible enclosed passageway connecting the modular classroom block to the existing building (much like the one that exists today connecting the two current modular classrooms).

Q: What is the construction period for the Lynch project?  I saw that the new school is slated to open September 2025.  When would construction start and/or what is the duration of time that students would be relocated?    (May 31, 2022)

A:  It is too early to know if construction will start in the fall of 2023 (as expected) or if there may be some early package work assigned for the summer prior.  The EFPBC has not yet determined the New Lynch project delivery method (Design-Bid-Build or CM-at-Risk) which will further impact construction schedule.  A decision on project delivery method is expected later this summer.


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