Swing Space, Traffic & Safety
Moving Lynch students off-site, Pedestrian, Bike, & Vehicular Traffic & Safety
Neighborhood Traffic & Safety Improvements
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
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
SWING SPACE - Spring Town Meeting votes NO on Article 26, YES on Article 27.
Monday, May 9th - 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. Work is now underway on developing the procurement package for temporary classrooms and the site & utility work required, as well as temporary expanded parking facilities on the ballfield. This package of work will be bid and assigned contingent on a successful debt-exclusion override on Saturday, January 7th.
The EFPBC has developed two different swing space options to support the New Lynch construction project. These articles are scheduled for debate and vote Monday, May 9th at Spring Town Meeting at WHS.
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).
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:
Short term: provides much-needed space for construction vehicles & materials (lay down area). Eliminates noise, vibration and other distractions of construction from the nearby learning environment. Limits neighborhood traffic by moving some or all of Lynch off site.
Long term: In some instances, partial or even complete swing space is required to facilitate the siting and construction of a new school when the preferred option involves a conflicting overlap of new building footprint/excavation versus the existing structure. When sites can be completely vacated (as was the case with our last three elementary school projects), we expect to see lower overall costs as many of the challenging logistics of construction on an occupied site with young children are eliminated.
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).