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Bridge School, 55 Middleby Road, Lexington, MA 02421

Bridge Renovation Project

Bridge Renovation Project Update from Principal Colella

February 2, 2013

Dear Bridge Families,

I want to take this opportunity to update you on the renovation project. As you know, I am on maternity leave until mid April. Nevertheless, I am in daily contact with Acting Principal Ms. Erin Maguire, and have been consulting with her regarding the renovation project and decisions that impact both the students and staff at Bridge. In addition to my conversations with Ms. Maguire, I am in frequent contact with Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Paul Ash; Bowman School Principal, Dr. Mary Anton; Town of Lexington Project Manager, Mr. Mark Barrett; Director of Facilities, Mr. Pat Goddard; and Resident Project Manager, Mr. Bill Gallagher. I am given weekly updates on progress, issues, and concerns, as well as immediate information by telephone calls and e-mails on an as needed basis. While I may not be on site, I continue to oversee the Bridge School renovations.

I would like to commend Ms. Maguire for her response to the various obstacles that have arisen on a day-to-day basis, as well as her communication with the Bridge community regarding these situations. Her actions have enabled the students and staff to remain safe at all times, including evacuating the building when alarms have sounded.

Since winter vacation, work has been progressing at Bridge. Some of the highlights are:

  • Air quality testing continues daily, and clean up remains a priority. The construction zone has two negative air machines. This means the dust cannot travel "up" the airstream ensuring the children and staff are safe.
  • Monitoring of the dust occurs nightly. The readings are more than ten times below the EPA/OSHA action threshold.
  • 95 % of the selective demolition in the main corridor has been completed to allow building of offices, conference rooms, and reconfiguring of space to create a full sized classroom.
  • A temporary wall has been erected in the main hallway to contain dust and allow for work to take place after school (between 4:00pm-11:00pm).
  • All necessary light fixtures have been replaced, and work continues to complete the punch list.
  • Masons have set the new doorframes into the hallway openings.

Once again, I want to assure you that the safety of the students and staff are our top priority. While obstacles have created challenges, the staff and students have risen above. The Bridge community remains a strong, dedicated, caring group who work together to create the best possible outcomes.

The Superintendent, Facilities Department, and I continue to work in collaboration to ensure safety remains at the forefront and the renovations continue to progress.

Both Ms. Maguire and I will continue to inform you regarding the progress, and will update the renovation blog ( as visible changes take place.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Meg Colella

Check out the Bridge/Bowman Renovation Blog!

"Bridge" was already a blog name so it is listed as:
This blog will be updated regularly both during the school year and during the summer.

Past Updates

As of April 21, 2012:

    General Work
    • Office trailers, temp fencing, and temp restrooms have been mobilized on site.
    Asbestos Abatement
    • Abatement work in all tunnels is complete.
    • Air clearance testing throughout the week has all been successful. There are copies of these reports in our on-site project notebook that will be housed in the main office.
    • A final air clearance test report is completed.
    • The Town's Health Director has been notified and is in the loop, and he is being copied on reports.
    Ceiling Tile Removal in Corridors
    • Sample area for ceiling tile removal went very well, and now all corridor ceiling tiles have been removed.
    • The Town's Electrical Inspector was brought in and collaborated on a list of activities that needed to take place to have all existing wiring and appurtenances above the ceiling plane in the corridors to be considered safe. This work has been completed.
    • A letter of inspection coming from our Environmental Consultant, EBI, Inc., states that any pipe insulation on existing piping above the ceiling plane in the corridors is in a safe condition. This letter will be placed in your on-site project notebook.
    Dust Monitoring
    • Air quality monitoring (dust) has been taking place, and there have been successful test reports all week. The tests show that the building has been consistently well below the allowable limits. Printed copies of these reports are in the on-site project notebooks.
    Upcoming Schedule
    • Monday 4/23 thru Fri. 5/4/12, the Contractor expects to work from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
    • One of the first things they would like to start on is removing the ceiling grid that remains in place in order to make way for new piping and ductwork.
    • The boiler room work is scheduled to start by Wednesday 4/25. This will take place from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.

As of March 22, 2012:

  • Baseline air quality testing occurred on 3/15/12. EBI Consultants will be back at least two more times to determine a baseline. They will then create a process for future testing.
  • Air testing will occur throughout the process. Two air monitors will be placed at Bridge. The Clerk of the Works will review the information daily and will provide details as to the state of the air quality throughout construction.
  • Staff determined paint colors for classrooms/small instructional spaces, bathroom floor and wall tiles were chosen, colors for classroom vanities and countertops were also finalized.
  • Information was shared with students at the All School Morning Meeting (ASMM) on 3/15/12 regarding what they can expect to see in April. Updates will continue at ASMM throughout the construction process.
  • The Bridge Site Based Council (SBC) met on 3/16/12 to discuss renovations.
  • Construction workers began the CORI check process.
  • Beginning April 2nd, construction workers will be on site from 7 am-7 pm to begin work on the exterior boiler enclosure as well as to prep for construction.
  • Construction will not take place during MCAS testing. The time frame for construction on those days will be altered.
  • Construction vehicles will not be permitted to move during peek hours: No access for construction vehicles 8-9 am, 3-4 pm, Thursdays 12-1 pm.
  • ASMM will continue next year, they will take place in the cafeteria.
  • The Bridge Internal Renovation Committee will work to determine ways to include students in the process-curriculum connections, artwork, etc.
  • Staff members met with the facilities department on 3/12 to discuss packing and moving logistics. These meetings will continue throughout the school year.

January 24, 2012: Lexington Voters say "YES! For Our Schools".

December 2011: The League of Women Voters of Lexington board unanimously voted to endorse Yes for Our Schools.
?These projects will make needed safety upgrades and improve the learning environments for our children,? said the League?s spokesperson Peg Bradley. ?They are practical, vital projects, and are being undertaken in the most financially responsible way possible. The League urges Lexington voters to become educated about the upcoming debt exclusion referendum and to vote YES on both questions on January 24, 2012.?

November 17, 2011: Town Meeting Backs Bridge and Bowman Renovations.
Via voice vote, Lexington Town Meeting approved funding for renovations to extend the useful lives of the Bridge and Bowman elementary schools in a special session held Monday, Nov. 14.

November 10, 2011: Prominent Advisory Boards Unanimously Recommend Renovating Bridge and Bowman
In their reports to Special Town Meeting, Lexington's Capital Expenditures Committee (CEC) and Appropriation Committee (AC) both unanimously support the plans to renovate Bridge and Bowman schools.
The Capital Expenditures Committee's report to Special Town Meeting is available.

November 7, 2011: Bridge-Bowman Renovation Wins Support of Selectmen
At the November 7 Board of Selectmen meeting, four out of five Selectmen voted in favor of the renovating Bridge and Bowman schools. Read more at Lexington Patch.

Project Overview

Click here for an overview of the project.

Tour of Bridge School's antiquated Boiler Room

By supporting the Bridge/Bowman Renovation Project, you will enable Bridge and Bowman schools to remove these antiquated oil burners, and to install energy-efficient gas boilers. These smaller, more efficient systems will free up enough space to build 4 new classrooms (2 at each school) and to dramatically improve the air flow to classrooms and offices at Bridge and Bowman Schools. Check it out!

-Rebecca Moore & Justine Wirtanen, Bridge School PTA Co-Presidents

Tour with Pat Goddard, Director of Public Facilities, Lexington

Further Information

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions about the Bridge, Bowman, and Estabrook Projects.

To learn more about Renovation specifics, contact Meg Colella, Pat Goddard, or Rebecca Moore.

To learn more about the Debt-Exclusion Campaign to support this initiative, contact Ann Boese, Rebecca Moore, or Justine Wirtanen.