Wrap Up: Bridge, Bowman, and Estabrook Elementary Schools

In 2010, the Town of Lexington Public Facilities took advantage of an indoor air quality test offered by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Results revealed that in two schools (Jonas Clarke Middle School and Estabrook Elementary School), concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (known as PCBs) were higher than normal.

Locating the source of PCBs then took considerable sleuthing and further testing. At Clarke, PCBs were found only in window caulking; mitigation was relatively simple to do: remove the caulk, encapsulate the surrounding building masonry, and recaulk windows with non-PCB material.

At Estabrook though, it was an entirely different matter.

Eventually, PCBs were found in all of the floor and ceiling mastic, as well as the window caulk, and in the mastic used to affix both interior and exterior decorative wall panels.

In January of 2012, Lexington voters approved a debt exclusion override to appropriate funds for extraordinary repairs to the Bridge and Bowman Elementary Schools and for replacement of the Estabrook School. Later that spring, at Special Town Meeting on April 2, 2012, Town Meeting voted to appropriate money for those repairs. In August, the School Committee was invited to see the new boiler room - an extended space at one far corner of each school. (Bridge and Bowman are identical buildings.)

I snapped the exciting images of the new boiler room (below), complete with shiny new pipes. The new boilers are much more efficient and slightly larger than a standard kitchen refrigerator. Compare that to the previous boilers, which when removed, provided space for two classrooms! 

               

The truly exciting moment came when the Estabrook elementary School opened its new doors to students in February 2014. This past October 2014 there was an official ribbon cutting and celebration for the new Estabrook Elementary School. (All photos by yours truly. Read more about the Estabrook Elementary School Project, including beautiful images of the new school on the DiNisco Design Partnership website).

The new Estabrook Elementary School
Estabrook student assembly ...
...a full house!

L-R: Parent Leader Karen Griffiths, Estabrook PTA co-president;
DiNisco Design Partnership Principal Architect Ken DiNisco;
DiNisco Design Partnership Project Lead Donna DiNisco
Estabrook Principal Sandra Trach welcomes
state and local dignitaries
to Ribbon Cutting & Assembly
(L to R: State Treasurer Steve Grossman;
MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy;
Lexington School Committee Chair Margaret Coppe;
Selectman Chair Joe Pato;
LPS Superintendent Dr.Paul Ash)
Dr. Paul Ash
Principal Trach with guests