Summary of conceptual design work through Schematic Design today

The space program voted by the School Committee in December 2021 for review and approval by the MSBA is a bit larger than presumed in the 2017 School Facilities Master Plan, with seven (7) Pre-K classrooms, additional K-2 classrooms, and a number of other dedicated educational or support spaces deemed necessary as the Educational Plan was developed last winter. At 83,500 net square feet as voted, the design team developed a New Lynch of approximately 103,000gsf (gross square feet).


With the Educational Program and Space Summary completed as part of the PDP (Preferred Development Program) submittal to the MSBA in January, the project team next developed the PSR-- or Preferred Schematic Report for submittal in March 2022. Before the "New Lynch" could be developed in Schematic Design, the MSBA required multiple options be studied during the Feasibility Study and submitted in the March PSR package:

  • Renovation & addition onto existing

  • Partial demo and new-build/expansion (sim to WHS)

  • New free-standing school (sim to Vinson-Owen)

  • Multiple site options for all

  • Multiple phasing options for all

While many envisioned the Lynch Replacement Project as a completely new build, a variety of options (below, left) had to be studied as a condition of the MSBA process. This approach has served Winchester well, as Vinson-Owen was a new-build while Winchester High School was not. Many criteria were considered in evaluating conceptual options developed (see below).


Each project and site presents unique challenges and opportunities. Multiple criteria were considered in evaluating the different Lynch development options including, but not limited to:

  • Suitability to the site

  • Accommodation of educational program & future expansion

  • Construction Cost / Affordability

  • Vehicular, Pedestrian, Bicycle Traffic

  • Parking

  • Safety

  • Need for swing space (unreimbursed cost)

  • Need for phasing (cost)

  • Impact on students/learning

Three Floors - youngest to oldest

Space & Program Organization Similar to Vinson-Owen Elementary School (2011-13, expanded 2015), the New Lynch is a three-story building with public and assembly program at one end with instructional spaces on the other. However, the New Lynch is considerably larger, accommodating over 500 K-5 students as well as an expanded integrated preschool program. The program arrangement assigns Kindergarten and preschool at the main/entrance level, first through third grades at level two, and grades four & five at level three.

The Return of WPS Preschool Program The design includes a dedicated preschool entrance. Once located at Lynch for many years, Winchester's preschool program was split in 2015 due to K-5 enrollment growth and space limitations. By fall 2021, all preschoolers had been relocated from Lynch to V-O or Parkhurst. By 2025, the New Lynch will once again welcome WPS preschoolers under one roof. The district's preschool program is open to all Winchester families regardless of elementary district. With the expanded program, the School Committee hopes to shorten the waitlist.

Community Use & Access Off-Hours Larger assembly spaces such as the Cafeteria and Gymnasium are arranged to be accessible to the public and/or rentable off-hours while the remainder of the school is safely closed and secured. The Gymnasium is set slightly lower into the site than the main floor elevation, making the stage a "walk-on" elevated floor for an auditorium-like dual use. An open stair up to the Library/Media Center makes this space available for off-hours use, as well.

Upper Lobby - Second Floor concept overlooking entry

Cafeteria - early conceptual interior view

Preschool - Lower Level concept classroom corridor node with cubbies

Grade Five - Third Floor extended learning space concept outside classrooms

Project Goals include

The Feasibility Study considers how the New Lynch can be sited and designed with particular attention to storm water management and maximum daylighting. The project will follow in the footsteps of the new Winchester High School (built 2013-2017) with LEED certification (target of Gold rating).

Having weathered multiple costly floods in recent years and with ongoing concern for air quality, climate change and the costs of energy, Winchester is nearing the end of a decade-long flood mitigation program and in 2020 adopted an aggressive Climate Action Plan, seeking significant reductions in greenhouse gases.

To achieve these long-terms goals and to contribute towards greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 85% by 2050 as outlined in the Massachusetts Decarbonization Roadmap , the New Lynch will be an all-electric building, no longer relying on heating oil or natural gas.

Beyond any additional reimbursement incentives from the MSBA, Winchester sees real purpose and value in actively pursuing creative planning and design options which limit energy consumption and environmental impact of construction and on-going operations, while still delivering outstanding learning spaces that are adaptable, flexible and comfortable year-round.

Zero Net Energy

A zero net energy project is an efficient design which-- on an annual basis-- generates clean renewable energy on site in a quantity equal to or greater than the total energy consumed by the building. Solar, wind, geothermal and hydro-electric are examples of renewal energy sources depending on project type and location.

The goal for the New Lynch is to reach Net Zero through roof-mounted and ground-mounted solar arrays. While the structural capacity of the roof will accommodate maximized photo-voltaic (PV) fields, options for canopies and site integration are in development and will be studied following Fall Town Meeting's PFA vote.

March 2022 - And then there was ONE-- Preferred Option N5 is selected after three schemes submitted for review...

Developed from an initial field of eleven (11) options by Tappé Architects (see bottom), the EFPBC submitted to the MSBA in March a renovation option of the existing Lynch Elementary School as it stands today (Option R - not shown), an addition/Renovation option (Option AR2 - below, right), and a new-build/replacement option (Option N5 - below, left).

On Wednesday, April 27 the MSBA Board voted approval of preferred option N5. This important milestone sets a general direction for the project as it now enters a more detailed schematic design phase. In early February the EFPBC chose replacement option N5 (below, left) as the preferred option for consideration by the MSBA. The design & engineering team will be hard at work this summer gathering more site information, meeting with municipal department heads (Fire, Police, DPW) and key committees/commissions as it begins the next stage of design and planning.

For more information on the progress of these concepts (and all others), please scroll down this page.

REPLACEMENT OPTION - N5 Feb 7th concept site plan

ADD/RENO OPTION - AR2 Feb 7th concept site plan


At its January 24th meeting, the EFPBC narrowed the list of six remaining options down to four (4), including one renovation option and one addition/renovation option (see R1 and AR2, below). After a review of goals from the New Lynch visioning sessions and the educational program, the Committee voted to advance replacement options N5 and N6 (below and right) for further study and consideration. Primary differences between these two options include the number of grades per floor and the associated impact on location/adjacency of other space program elements. WPS administration is evaluating these two approaches and will share operational insight at the January 31st meeting at which the EFPBC is expected to select a preferred replacement option.

As has been noted, the MSBA requires the submission of a renovation option, an addition/renovation option and a replacement/new-build option in March as part of the PSR-- or Preferred Schematic Report.

Option N5 - Conceptual Stacking Diagram under development/review

Option N6 - Conceptual Stacking Diagram under development/review

Eleven (11) conceptual site & massing options were shared with the EFPBC at its meeting on December 20, 2021 (see matrix of options, below). Of these, six (above) were selected to advance for further study & development. All options were presented on January 10, 2022 at a special EFPBC public webinar. Though required by the MSBA for submittal, Option R1 (renovation of existing) does not meet the needs of the educational program and is therefore not expected to become the preferred option. N7 was eliminated due to regulatory restrictions. Other options were dismissed due to phasing or timing constraints-- including completion well past the deadline, into 2026.