Swing Space, Traffic & Safety

Moving Lynch students off-site, Pedestrian, Bike, & Vehicular Traffic & Safety

Lynch at Parkhurst 2023 - 2025

As the Project Team completed bid documents on the "New Lynch", the summer of 2023 saw construction completed on swing space at the Parkhurst School (built 1948) for the 2023-25 school years (see images, right).  Temporary modular classrooms and parking in the upper field have been constructed and installed and a number of permanent upgrades have been made in the Parkhurst School building itself.  After the 2024-25 school year, the leased modulars will be removed and the site restored-- including the playfield. Temporary improvements include parking, bus drop-off, and stormwater management.  Once one of Winchester's ten smaller neighborhood elementary schools taken out of regular service in the 1970s and early -80s, "The Parkhurst" has previously served as swing space during the construction of the Vinson-Owen School (2011-2013) and Ambrose Elementary (2004-2006).

SWING SPACE - Spring Town Meeting votes NO on Article 26, YES on Article 27...                so it's 14 modular classrooms at Parkhurst from 2023 to 2025.

May 2022 update - Winchester's Spring Town Meeting voted against Article 26 (Carriage House renovation to free-up space at the Parkhurst School) and in favor of Article 27 (Design & Procurement Package for Modular Classrooms at Parkhurst).  Concerns over covering the debt-service from the Town's operating budget on a $6M bond (until Parkhurst could be leased as a source of revenue) were reported by the Select Board and Finance Committee.  The cost of temporary modular classrooms (Article 27) are considered by the MSBA an eligible project expense, though not reimbursable.

February 2023 update - Multiple bidders responded to the modular classroom and sitework package and Triumph Modular Building Company was selected for the work.  Triumph was the modular classroom contractor for the 3-phase renovation and expansion of Winchester High School, as well.  The costs for this early work came in under budget and the manufacturer in Pennsylvania is preparing shop drawings for approval and construction.

March 2023 update - Construction fencing and materials have begun to arrive on-site this month in preparation for the conversion of the upper small playfield to a temporary bus drop-off loop and parking lot.  After lot construction is completed, modular classroom buildings will arrive and be placed on site, with utility connections to follow.  

The EFPBC developed two different swing space options to support the New Lynch construction project.  These articles were debated and voted on Monday, May 9th at Spring Town Meeting.

Article 26 seeks funding for a renovated Sanborn Carriage House to become the permanent home for Central Office and free up the Parkhurst School for use as valuable swing space for Lynch students during construction.  

Article 27 seeks architectural & engineering fees only for the preparation of modular classrooms still required to supplement Parkhurst space.  Should Article 26 fail to pass, Article 27 can still fund design & engineering required to develop a larger temporary classroom installation.  

See Information Session video (link, at right).

Article 26 & 27-Excerpt - Spring TM

Articles 26 & 27 Summary

Summary of Articles, Motions and Background language on the Preferred and Backup Swing Space options as presented to Spring Town Meeting

Lynch Swing Space Info Session

Informational Session on Lynch Project Swing Space needs & concepts hosted by Dr. Frank Hackett, Winchester Superintendent of Schools April 28, 2022

SWING SPACE - a temporary location for students during construction

Swing space is an important element of the New Lynch and consideration of design options as they are developed. During the MSBA Designer Selection process, the finalist architecture & engineering teams all noted the need for some measure of swing space to build the new school and early concepts from Tappé Architects confirm this.  Early conceptual siting and massing studies shared with the EFPBC in December suggest the need for at least 8 to 10 classrooms moved off-site while others require the entire Lynch be vacated.  

Getting all students off-site - The "minimum swing space" approach took a significant turn in March:  Once the EFPBC and School Committee understood the many benefits of moving all students off-site for construction (schedule/time savings and cost savings to the new building which substantially offset additional costs for greater swing space) and with input from members of the Lynch parent & teacher community, Superintendent Hackett made his recommendation to move all students off-site for construction.  To achieve this, the EFPBC has prepared two articles on the Spring Town Meeting warrant:  Article 26 seeks funding for a renovated Sanborn Carriage House (on the Ambrose Campus) to become the permanent home for Central Office and free up the Parkhurst School for use as valuable swing space for Lynch students during construction.  Article 27 seeks architectural & engineering fees only for the preparation of modular classrooms still required to supplement Parkhurst space.  Should Article 26 fail to pass Town Meeting, Article 27 can still fund design & engineering required to develop a larger temporary classroom installation (with necessary sitework and utilities).  For more information, see Information Session video (link, at top).

Swing space can be an essential element of project success on both a short and long-term basis and can provide economic benefits in lower construction bids when sites are fully vacated:

SWING SPACE - past experience & present-day options

Winchester's last three major elementary school construction or renovation projects have enjoyed the availability of swing space for the entire school community.  Lincoln Elementary School students moved to the Mystic School and Parkhurst School to permit a full renovation and restoration of the historic Lincoln building and Parkhurst welcomed the Ambrose and Vinson-Owen communities to accommodate full tear-down and rebuilds of both schools (2004-2006 and 2011-2013, respectively).  

Since the opening of the Vinson-Owen Elementary School in 2013, the Parkhurst School has been home to the district's central administrative offices and-- more recently-- four Pre-K classrooms relocated from Lynch for the 2021-22 school year.  Recognizing the value of the Parkhurst School as instructional space and potential swing space for the New Lynch, the Winchester School Committee voted in September of 2021 to reaffirm the historic Sanborn Carriage House (on the Ambrose campus) as the future permanent home of the district's central administrative offices.  Spring Town Meeting subsequently approved a funding request for design development for the relocation of "Central Office" to the Carriage House.   Though not yet funded for construction (and not an approved New Lynch project expense), the School Committee seeks to vacate Parkhurst in time to accommodate at least some Lynch classrooms to permit construction of the new school.  The School Committee and EFPBC see value in utilizing existing WPS facilities for swing space, since the MSBA excludes temporary space from any reimbursements (therefore Winchester taxpayers pay the full cost of any temporary space accommodations).  


Built in two phases from 1948 to 1952 at 40 Samoset Road, named for former WHS principal Lewis Parkhurst, and similar in size & configuration to the Mystic School at Symmes Corner, the Parkhurst School is an approximately 28,000sf 2-story former elementary school built into the hill at the bottom of Mt. Pisgah (Winchester's highest point!) just blocks from Ambrose Elementary and a half mile from Vinson-Owen.  

Parkhurst was once one of several smaller Winchester neighborhood elementary schools from the 1950s into the 1970s.  The private Bartlett School leased space at Parkhurst from 1982 through 1999.  After some updating, the school served as swing space for Ambrose construction (2004-2006) and again-- after a $1M investment-- welcomed Vinson-Owen students for construction of the new V-O school (2011-2013).  Once the new Vinson-Owen welcomed students back, the district's central administrative offices moved from the Lynch Elementary School to Parkhurst due to extreme enrollment growth and capacity strain at Lynch.  The administrative move to Parkhurst was seen as a short- to medium-term plan until a permanent home at the Carriage House could be established.  More recent investments/upgrades at Parkhurst include an elevator and stage lift for full-building accessibility.

Neighborhood Traffic & Safety Improvements

Traffic-- of many types-- is an important consideration for the EPFBC and MSBA.  The project Traffic Engineer will prepare an existing conditions report including traffic counts for the existing vehicular volume coming on and off site as well as a parking count. This data along with a review of roadways and intersections adjacent to the current Lynch site will inform a written report that can be used in developing proposed site plan solutions for the New Lynch project. 

Out of concern for existing pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic challenges at Winchester schools, and understanding that rising enrollment and expansion brings more student and car volume, the Select Board voted a policy in 2018 that calls for supplemental funding allowances in major school expansion projects for a "Traffic Safety Study".  

These recommendations may include signage, curbing, roadway striping and signalization, pedestrian crosswalks, bicycle accommodation, and traffic calming measures adjacent to the project scope of work (McCall Middle School's 2018-19 expansion project is a recent example of such improvements with reconfiguration of Main Street/Washington and narrowing of Mystic Valley Parkway).  

The scope and funding for this work for Lynch has not yet been finalized but is in development, with initial concepts presented to the Select Board on September 26th in four tiers of suggested priority.  Although not packaged with the Lynch Replacement Project itself,  this important work is on the January 7th ballot for continued development over the winter with recommendations on scope and funding to the Capital Planning Committee and Town Meeting by Spring 2023.

Neighborhood Concept Plan - 26 Sept 2022 (Toole Design)

Acting Town Manager and Town Engineer Beth Rudolph hosted two virtual information and feedback sessions with the Lynch neighborhood on October 18th.  

For more information, including recordings of the October neighborhood feedback sessions, please click here to visit the Town's Preliminary Lynch School Traffic Improvements page or search at www.winchester.us.

Second Ballot Question -  Operating Override for Neighborhood Traffic & Safety Projects

Proposed neighborhood traffic & safety improvements are not included in the MSBA-funded reconstruction project.  The Select Board voted in November to propose an operating override question on the January 7th ballot along with the Lynch question (below).  Selected design concepts are provided below.

Shall the Town of Winchester be allowed to assess an additional $400,000 in real estate and personal property taxes for the purpose of funding the Capital Stabilization Fund for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023?

The Select Board is seeking authorization to adjust Winchester's tax levy limit, raising an additonal $400K/year for the Capital Stabilization Fund (CSF).  The CSF would then be the source for debt-service on the proposed twelve Lynch neighborhood traffic/safety projects for 15 to 20 years (bonded).  Following payoff this continued source of CSF revenue would be used for other critical capital projects, such as roof replacements, window replacements, etc.

Canal & Middlesex Street - concept

Horn Pond Brook & Royal intersection - concept

Pond Street near Lynch entrance - concept