Pickering Middle School

Building Project

FAQ

DECISION MAKING PROCESS

Why do we need a new Pickering Middle School?

The Pickering Middle School is an aged brick masonry building, built in 1905 with an addition that was constructed in 1953. The 1905 main building contains classrooms on all floors including the basement and subbasement as well as an auditorium. The 1953 addition contains classrooms, science labs, workshops, administrative offices, gymnasium and cafeteria. The total square footage at Pickering is 99,500 including a gymnasium of 5,520 square feet, an auditorium of 3,350 square feet and a cafeteria of 3,680 square feet. There is no library in the school. Neither the 1905 nor the 1953 additions is handicapped accessible.

The first floor consists of administrative office space, gymnasium and approximately eighteen (18) classrooms. There are eighteen (18) classrooms on the second floor and twenty (20) classrooms in the basement. The basement also includes boiler rooms, a woodshop (currently not used for lack of an appropriately licensed industrial arts teacher), and unused and non-functioning locker rooms for the gymnasium on the first floor above.

The building has serious issues with the exterior shell due to deteriorated masonry, a failing roof, windows long beyond their lifespan, and numerous deficiencies with the door components of the exterior egress system. The building also has serious deficits in the mechanical and electrical systems. The buildings’ power and lighting are inadequate, and the clocks, bells and public address systems are antiquated and no longer functional. In addition, the power distribution within the school is inadequate to meet the needs of a 21st century school.

The building is heated with a steam heating system, there is no air conditioning and neither the main building nor the addition contains adequate controls over the heating system as the pneumatic control system has failed in various areas. The heating and ventilation systems were installed in 1953 with the addition of the Sisson School and requires update/replacement of its components and controls. The steam boilers have been replaced in the last ten years as well as associated pumps and steam return systems, however, the lack of adequate controls has resulted in inconsistent maintenance of temperature in the building.
Academic space at the Pickering Middle School is inadequate. Students receive instruction in the core academic subjects and are offered electives in art, music, reading, technology and physical education. There are enough classrooms to house the academic program at Pickering, but the classroom space is not adequate for the type of instruction now needed at the middle school level. There are virtually no fully operational science labs. Guidance counselors share space that does not allow for privacy. Occupational and physical therapists provide services in any unused classroom available on the date and time for their visits. There is no large meeting place for all students or for all students in a given cluster because the cafeteria is in use for four periods throughout the day.

The existing school is located in a residential area with the primary access located on a residential street. The school is attached to the Sisson Elementary School constructed in 1953 and shares a boiler plant with the Sisson School. Neither the Pickering or Sisson Schools are on the Historical Register nor is there any current consideration in preservation of the 1905 structure. Onsite parking is limited and is not adequate to service the current structures. The demolition and reuse of the site would be problematic due to its attachment to the Sisson Elementary School, limited site area and the lack of swing space to accommodate the current school during construction.

What is the timeline for the Pickering School Building project?

This project is expected to take anywhere from five to seven years given the rigorous and multi-step process the MSBA requires. The process began in April 2021 when the MSBA invited the City of Lynn into the Eligibility Period following the submittal of a Statement of Interest (SOI). It is anticipated that construction or renovation of Pickering Middle School, at the earliest, may begin in 2024 with project completion in 2026/2027. Final Project Schedule will be determined in a later design phase.

What sites were considered for the Pickering Middle School Project?

The following sites were  reviewed by LeftField (Owner’s Project Manager), Raymond Design Associates (Project Architect), and the Pickering School Building Committee (SBC):

1.Gowdy Park

2.Former Union Hosptial Site

3.Broadway

4.Rockdale Ave.

5.Pickering

6.Magnolia Ave. Park

For more detailed information on Site Selection, including site selection criteria and more information about each site considered, please view the presentation links below.

Pickering School Building Project Update – SBC Site Selection Presentation

What site was selected for the Pickering Middle School Project by the School Building Committee (SBC)?

At the December 21, 2022 School Building Committee (SBC) Meeting, SBC members unanimously to approve the selection of the Magnolia Park Site as the preferred site for the new Pickering Middle School. Below are links to the Site Selection Public Forum recording/presentations and the December 21, 2022 SBC Meeting recording/presentation.

12/19/22 Site Selection Public Forum Presentation

12/19/22 Site Selection Public Forum Recording

12/21/22 School Building Committee Meeting Presentation

12/21/22 School Building Committee Meeting Recording

 

What Design Options were considered for the Pickering Middle School Project at Magnolia/Pickering/Sission Sites?

PROJECT COST PRESENTED BELOW WAS CREATED TO DEMONSTRATE AN “ORDER OF MAGNITUDE” TO ASIST THE SBC’s DECISION MAKING. FINAL PROJECT PRICING IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. THE TOTAL PROJECT BUDGET FORMED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE SCHEMATIC DESIGN PHASE OF CONSTRUCTION WILL SERVE AS THE OFFICIAL TOTAL PROJECT MOVING FORWARD.

Option #5A – Code Upgrade

$ 71,384,011 – for informational purposes only – doesn’t meet educational program

Option #5B – Addition/Renovation

$ 203,825,858 – requires property takings & swing space – more disruptive & longer schedule

Option #6A – Magnolia Park

$ 195,675,500 – floodplain & soil issues = extensive, expensivw foundations

Option #6B – Bridge to Sisson  

$ 199,982,833 – fewer floodplain & soil issues – more square footage, replace Sisson play area @ Magnolia Park

Option #7 – Sisson Grounds  

$ 170,071,331 least floodplain impact – five-story scale at abutting properties

What Design Option was selected for the Pickering Middle School Project by the School Building Committee (SBC) at Magnolia/Pickering/Sission Sites?

At the April 10, 2023 School Building Committee (SBC) Meeting, SBC members unanimously to approve the selection of Design Option #7: Sisson Grounds as the preferred option for the new Pickering Middle School. Below are links to the April 10, 2023 SBC Meeting recording/presentation.

04/10/23 Site Selection Public Forum/SBC Presentation

04/10/23 Site Selection Public Forum/SBC Recording

 

How did the proposed school design come to be?

The proposed design was the culmination of many educational visioning sessions and resulting design options that were developed and presented by Raymond Design Associates. The defining goals was to provide a coherent and equitable Education program/experience at all Middle Schools within the City Lynn, which is currently not achievable with the current Pickering Middle School. The design of the proposed new Pickering Middle School addressed the District’s Educational Priorities, creates appropriate classrooms sizes and adjacencies. The new building will also have increased energy efficiency and create better access to natural light.

Pickering MS Educational Program

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #1 Notes

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #1 Recording

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #1 Presentation

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #2 Notes

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #2 Recording

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #2 Presentation

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #3 Notes

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #3 Recording

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #3 Presentation

Pickering MS Education Visioning Community Forum Recording

Pickering MS Education Visioning Community Forum Presentation

 

What will happen to the existing Pickering Middle School now that "New Construction" has been chosen?

The Lynn School Committee will determine what the existing school will be utilized as.

How much will the project cost? How will the project be paid for?

The Preferred Schematic Report (PSR) Submission to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) included an estimated Total Construction Budget of $135,836,161 and an estimated Total Project Budget of $170,308,289, which includes budget contingencies and Project Soft Costs. The Total Project Budget will be established at the end of the Schematic Design Phase of Design, which is currently scheduled to end October 26, 2023, with MSBA Board of Director’s Approval on December 13, 2023. The current estimated City Share is approx. $ 85 Million and the current estimated share is $ 85 Million.

The MSBA will reimburse the City of Lynn for eligible project costs during construction. The reimbursement rates are dependent upon various socioeconomic factors, as well as limitations related to square footage, with a minimum base rate of 31 percent up to a maximum of 80 percent. Several factors can increase the MSBA’s reimbursement rate, including a community income factor, community property factor and community poverty factor.

Will the new school accommodate growth in student population?

Flexibility has been built into the design to accommodate student growth and bubbles in student enrollment from year to year. MSBA requires planning for a minimum of 15% growth.

FACILITY

What does the proposed new school look like?

How did the proposed school design come to be?

The proposed design was the culmination of many educational visioning sessions and resulting design options that were developed and presented by Raymond Design Associates. The defining goals was to provide a coherent and equitable Education program/experience at all Middle Schools within the City Lynn, which is currently not achievable with the current Pickering Middle School. The design of the proposed new Pickering Middle School addressed the District’s Educational Priorities, creates appropriate classrooms sizes and adjacencies. The new building will also have increased energy efficiency and create better access to natural light.

Pickering MS Educational Program

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #1 Notes

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #1 Recording

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #1 Presentation

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #2 Notes

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #2 Recording

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #2 Presentation

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #3 Notes

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #3 Recording

Pickering MS Visioning Workshop #3 Presentation

Pickering MS Education Visioning Community Forum Recording

Pickering MS Education Visioning Community Forum Presentation

 

What is the size and enrollment of proposed new Pickering Middle School?

Size: 183,084 SQ FT

Design Enrollment: 1,100 students

What Exterior Amenties are currently proposed for the Project?

  • Maintains Magnolia Park Amenities
  • Provides Playgrounds for both Sisson and Pickering Students
  • Improved/increase in Parking available.

What Interior Amenties are currently proposed for the Project?

  • Addresses/Meets District Educational Priorities
  • Creates Parity among City’s Middle Schools.
  • Appropriate Classroom Sizes and Adjacencies.
  • Increased Energy Efficiency.
  • Better access to natural light.

What City Amenties are currently proposed for the Project?

  • Provides new Community Playground for two age group.
  • Provides new Basketball Court.
  • Improves School Circulation for the three Schools on Site
  • Locates School most advantageously within City to allow for redistributing.
    the City’s Middle School population

NEXT STEPS

When will construction begin/when will the new school open?

It is anticipated that construction will begin in Summer/Fall 2024 pending project approval.

Start – Summer 2024

Building Finish – December 2026

Pickering MS Project Master Schedule

Pickering MS Project Schedule Overview

What is the Preferred Schematic Report?

The purpose of the Preferred Schematic Report (PSR) is to summarize the process and conclusions of the Preliminary and Final Evaluation of Design Alternatives. The Final Evaluation shall include at least three potential alternatives. Potential alternatives include:

  • Code Upgrade (Typically not Reimbursed by MSBA/Solely paid by the City/Town)
  • Renovation to existing building(s)
  • Renovation/Addition to existing building(s)
  • New Construction

The Project is targeting submitting the PSR to the MSBA in April 2023 for MSBA Board Approval in June 2023. The Project will then move into the Schematic Design Phase.

 

 

What is Schematic Design?

Schematic Design is the process of developing the preferred concept for the building and site and to identify and establish the full scope of work and schedule for the project to the degree that costs for construction and total project costs can be confidently established for the duration of the project.

QUESTIONS RECEIVED FROM THE COMMUNITY

As a parent of two students at Sisson, a concern of mine is outside time. Since our students do not have space within the school for lunch or specials, their only time out of the classroom is during recess or gym. Currently we utilize the tennis court for gym and the school yard for recess, so where would that take place during construction for the next 2 years?

During the summer prior to the start of construction on the existing play areas, new playground areas will be constructed for use by the Sisson students throughout construction.

I understand that there will be adjustments made during construction, but how is there not a concern for quality of learning? It seems like a major construction site that’s taking place during learning hours would inhibit a child’s learning capabilities.

Most new schools in Massachusetts are built adjacent to existing schools due to the lack of available land.  Construction methodologies have evolved and improved to limit noise and disruptions.  Any potentially disruptive work will be coordinated for after school hours.  We will monitor closely and coordinate with the school administration on a daily basis.

Our home faces Euclid Avenue a little less than a mile from Sisson/Pickering as well as other schools in the area. Traffic is already a serious issue, especially at the start and end of school days. It is literally gridlock at these times. With the enrollment increase at Pickering, I hope the school committee (city council to increase budget by necessary amount) will fund more busses from shorter distances. I heard more parking spaces will be available but cars still have to get to those parking spots. We already avoid leaving our home between 7:30am and 8:30 am on weekdays. I assume the traffic jam period will expand (as well as in afternoon).

We are working with a Traffic Consultant to review the traffic conditions on the roads surrounding the school.  They have analyzed the existing conditions and have projected the impact to traffic of the additional students and are in the process of making recommendations to ensure that conditions are not worse than what currently exists.  We would like to be able to improve the conditions where possible.

I was told that efforts are being made for a smaller project to diminish costs, even possibly eliminating air conditioning?

We will not be eliminating air-conditioning  but we are making every effort to provide an educationally appropriate and efficient school while remaining fiscally responsible.  We understand the City’s funding limitations and will make smart financial discussions to provide a school that is durable and functional.

The City Leaders must find a way to fund the full project. Good schools are key to growing our city in a positive way. We cannot build a school that will not fully educate our children in every way. We will only have to renovate in the near future.

We agree and in order to secure partial State funding, we are tasked with providing a school that will endure for a minimum of 50 years, from an educational and durability perspective.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Who are the parties involved in the Middle School Project?

School Building Committee (“SBC”)

The Pickering Middle School Building Committee (“SBC”) is made up of the Pickering Middle School Advisory Committee which consists of City and School employees/officials and members of the Community for the purpose of generally monitoring the MSBA Application process and to advise the City of Lynn during the construction of the Project.

List of SBC Members

Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”)
The Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) is a quasi-independent government authority created to reform the process of funding capital improvement projects in the Commonwealth’s public schools. The MSBA strives to work with local communities to create affordable, sustainable, and energy efficient schools across Massachusetts.

The MSBA’s grant program for school building construction and renovation projects is a non-entitlement competitive program. The MSBA’s Board of Directors approves grants based on need and urgency as expressed by the City, Town, Regional School District or independent agricultural and technical school and validated by the MSBA.

Massachusetts School Building Authoirty Website

LeftField- Owner’s Project Manager (OPM)
LeftField is an Owner’s Representative and Project Management firm, established in 2007. We specialize in owners project management services and have significant experience in the public sector, working with municipalities and building authorities. Leftfield’s staff has managed over $1.5 billion in MSBA-funded projects since MSBA’s inception in 2004. As Owners Project Managers, we work in conjunction with the Owner serving as an extension of their staff. Our primary role is to protect the Owner’s interests, to ensure that the Owner is well-served and that the established goals and objectives are met in the most efficient manner, physically and fiscally.

LeftField Website

Raymond Design Associeats – Project Architect Consigli Construction – Construction Manager

As a firm, RDA’s focus is on delivering value: Architecture that inspires a sense of community at an affordable price. Learning environments (like students) must be able to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world. We design flexible, easy-to-maintain, energy-efficient schools that stand the test of time. At the same time, we know that cities and towns across the Commonwealth are grappling with the financial realities of aging infrastructure and omnipresent demands on their limited funding, and we understand full well that our job is to deliver maximum “Return on Investment” (ROI) for the projects we undertake.

The design of a school plays an important role in supporting students as they begin their journey as life-long learners. Our learning environments provide for differentiated instruction, curriculum innovation, and changes in pedagogy. Together with our district and stakeholder partners , we facilitate smart decisions about how your building is configured, identify appropriate program adjacencies, and recommend furnishings, technologies, and building systems that facilitate inspired learning

RDA Website

Consigli Construction – Construction Manager

In 1905 Peter Consigli, a skilled mason, established Peter Consigli & Sons in Milford, Massachusetts on the cornerstones of hard work, integrity and pride in craftsmanship. Over a century later, Consigli has grown from a local business into one of the largest employee-owned construction managers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

With more than 1,600 employees; ten regional offices dotting the east coast from Maine to DC; and upward of $2.3 billion in annual volume, Consigli has expanded its roots, while maintaining its core competencies as a true builder with more than 650 skilled carpenters, laborers and masons on staff.

Consigli Construction Website

What is the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA)?

The City of Lynn is working with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) on the Pickering School Building project. The MSBA is a quasi-independent government agency that funds capital improvement projects in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ public schools. The MSBA “work[s] with local communities to create affordable, sustainable, and energy-efficient schools across Massachusetts.” It has a dedicated revenue stream of one penny of the Commonwealth’s 6.25 percent sales tax. Since 2004, the MSBA has made more than $15.6B in reimbursement payments to school districts for school construction projects.

https://www.massschoolbuildings.org/about

What is the MSBA process?

The MSBA has developed eight distinct modules that are intended to provide a guide to the procedures and approvals needed for the MSBA and the District to work together in a collaborative manner.

MSBA Process

The “Program Overview” and listing of eight modules can be viewed here:
https://www.massschoolbuildings.org/building/modules_overview

Where can I go to learn more information about this project? How can I stay informed?

The Pickering SBC is committed to an inclusive, transparent process. As the project progresses, there will be considerable opportunities for public input and community engagement, including stakeholder surveys and public meetings. The project website has information to stay informed, such as relevant news articles, meeting agendas, minutes and video recordings of Pickering SBC meetings. The project website will be updated regularly as new information is available. Pickering SBC meetings are also posted regularly and open to the public. Please direct any further questions to the Project Email: (info@pickeringmsbuildingproject.com).