The new Brightwood/Lincoln School is opening before school begins and was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. This brand new facility, located at 255 Plainfield Street in the City’s North End, will provide our students with a 21st century learning environment and positive atmosphere for students and families to thrive. The new 150,500 square-foot building replaces two neighborhood elementary schools, both were over 100 years old. The unique and economical design was done with a focus on sustainability and meeting the needs of modern learning for all of our students.
The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) was an integral partner in making this project a reality. The MSBA conducted a study on the facility condition and programmatic issues back in September of 2015, and later approved state reimbursements of up to 80% of all eligible construction cost. The total project cost was $82 million.
A ground breaking ceremony was held back in September of 2019. Special thanks to the dedicated efforts from the City team, including the School Committee – especially School Committeewoman Maria Perez, Superintendent Daniel Warwick, Director of Capital Asset Construction Peter Garvey, the City Council, the design and construction partners DiNisco Design and Daniel O’Connell & Sons Construction, as well as our School Building Commission and our residents and community members.
While the new facility will be the home for both Brightwood School and Lincoln School. This new state-of-the-art facility will allow both schools to continue to maintain their individual identities with separate entrances. There will be some shared spaces to maximize efficiency. Shared spaces will include a cutting edge library/media center, cafeteria, gymnasium, and soccer fields as well as a contemporary storm drainage system.
Mayor Sarno states, “This new state-of-the-art Brightwood/Lincoln Elementary School project continues my Administration’s commitment to our children and families and to providing the best quality of education and facilities possible. This project joins a long list of improvements, upgrades and new schools we have built – in total over $700 million, the most in the Commonwealth! New schools being built is always a sign of hope, respect and promise.”
“In addition, I am proud to report, that after years of discussions and talking with key stakeholders and the neighborhood about having a new and safe pedestrian tunnel for our residents of the North End community and thanks to the efforts from the Commonwealth and our city team, the new North End Pedestrian Underpass is soon ready to open,” Mayor Sarno added. “This new North End Pedestrian Underpass will provide safe passage for our residents, especially for the students, families and staff of our new Brightwood/Lincoln Elementary School, and will connect the two sections of the North End and Brightwood neighborhoods – Birnie Ave and Plainfield Street. This $6.5 million project continues my Administration’s commitment to providing safe and fully accessible crossing for our pedestrians in the North End.”
“I cannot emphasize enough how much of a partnership this has been from the very beginning and we would not be here today if I weren’t for the dedication and commitment of all parties involved,” said Warwick. “I am so pleased that our elementary students and staff of the North End community now have a state-of-the-art elementary educational center in which to teach and learn. In just a few short days, these shiny new halls will be filled with awe-inspired students and I couldn’t be more excited for them.”
School Committeewoman Maria Perez stated, “This is fantastic. As a School Committeewoman, I wish to commend the Mayor and his team for making this project a reality.”
State Representative Carlos Gonzalez added, “Education is essential to combat the recidivism of poverty, our collective investment in this new building will enhance learning opportunities for present and future generations.”
State Senator Adam Gomez said, “The ribbon-cutting for the newly constructed Brightwood-Lincoln Elementary School is a tremendous example of Springfield’s dedication to ensuring our young people have access to education in places they can be healthy and thrive. The work done by the contractors at Daniel O’Connell’s Sons of Holyoke to complete the building before schedule and under budget is outstanding.”
In addition, the Brightwood/Lincoln Elementary School project was a tremendous success under the new revamped Responsible Employer Ordinance (REO). This is the first major project monitored under the City’s new REO guidelines.
As the first major project monitored under the City’s amended Responsible Employer Ordinance, the Brightwood/Lincoln Elementary School project faced a unique challenge. The construction of this state-of-the-art elementary school was ongoing during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. The project broke ground in the late spring/early summer of 2019, with the majority of construction occurring during 2020 and completing in 2021. During construction, all requirements of operation during the COVID-19 restrictions were adhered to, including physical distancing, mask wearing, and quarantining when necessary. Despite these challenges, the Brightwood/Lincoln Elementary School project was a tremendous success.
Pursuant to the REO, projects like Brightwood/Lincoln are required to utilize its workforce in the following manner: 35% of work hours to be performed by residents of Springfield, 20% of work hours to be performed by minorities, 6.9% of work hours to be performed by women, and 5% of work hours to be performed by military veterans. Below is the workforce breakdown for the project:
There were a total of 251,083 work hours performed on this project. The total workforce hours performed by Springfield residents was 76,324. In addition, based upon the prevailing wage rates, this project provided in excess of $3.5 million directly to Springfield residents and, by extension, to the Springfield economy.
The general contractor on the project, Daniel O’Connell & Sons, worked consistently and proactively with the Compliance Department to meet the REO goals.
Mayor Sarno states, “I want to commend the project contractor Daniel O’Connell & Sons for their efforts working on this project. This was not an easy project to accomplish, especially during this unprecedented pandemic, however the general contractor not only finished this project ahead of schedule but also under budget, all while successfully reaching or exceeding our REO goals.”
“I want to applaud our dedicated city team for their continued dedicated efforts in making our new REO 2.0 a tremendous success,” Mayor Sarno continued. “Special shout-out to Senior Project Manager Patrice “Chae” Swan and Senior Compliance Project Manager Hope Button for their hard work and due diligence in checking to make sure that our contractors met these benchmarks. My Administration is committed to creating more opportunities for our diverse and capable workforce that will lead to more of that good four letter word – ‘JOBS’. I am very happy we’ve been able to meet and exceed the benchmarks that were set. We will continue to drive this revamped REO so that everyone will have an equal playing field.”
“My Administration will continue to work with City Councilor Melvin Edwards, REO Committee members, and our labor brothers and sisters in the Building Trades,” Mayor Sarno added. “This project continues my Administrations commitment to investing in our schools. Again, to date, working with the Massachusetts School Building Authority, we have invested over $700 million towards new schools and renovated schools in the City of Springfield – the most in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
“This is exciting news. I’m appreciative of the Mayor and his Administration, especially Patrice ‘Chae’ Swan and Hope Button for their efforts. In total, there was over 250,000 work hours performed on this project and over 76,000 workforce hours were performed by our Springfield residents. This project provided over $3.5 million directly to our residents and by extension our local economy. These are real numbers and money that went directly into the pockets of our working residents and families. This is the data and the results we all envisioned seeing when we passed this ordinance and it is truly great to see the positive results from this first major project under our City’s amended REO.” said City Councilor Edwards, who also serves as the Chairman for the City Council REO Monitoring Committee.
Senior Project Manager Patrice ‘Chae’ Swan stated, “I am humbled to be part of the work we have accomplished on the Brightwood Lincoln Elementary School. It was a total group effort, with my partner Hope Button, and the collaborating team at Daniel O’Connell & Sons, and the REO Committee. I’m excited for future REO projects as we seek to increase economic and employment opportunities for the citizens of our beautiful City.”
Senior Compliance Project Manager Hope Button added, “I am extremely proud of the success of the Brightwood Lincoln Elementary School project. Working with my colleague, Chae Swan, the team at Daniel O’Connell & Sons, and the REO Committee we established that the goals of a workforce in the construction trades reflective of the community can be achieved. This was a true team effort in every sense of the phrase.”
Chief Finance and Administrative Officer TJ Plante said, “I want to applaud our dedicated city team, especially Patrice Swan and Hope Button for their efforts on this project. This was the first project under the new revamped REO and we are happy to report that it came under budget and ahead of schedule, while exceeding or closely meeting our REO goals set.”
Mayor Sarno and the City Council approved the newly revised Responsible Employer Ordinance in 2019, that requires contractors on pubic construction projects, including new schools, that are in excess of $500,000 to meet minimum hiring requirements for women, minorities, veterans and city residents.