Lincoln-Eliot Elementary and NECP (Preschool) Project
May 7, 2020
Dear L-E Community,
We are writing to you today with very difficult, but perhaps unsurprising, news. The Lincoln-Eliot building project at 150 Jackson Road will be delayed due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lincoln-Eliot staff and our families were very much looking forward to finishing the design, starting construction on the project and to moving to the new building in the next few years. We are sorry to share this disappointing news in what is already a difficult time for so many.
As you know, the home of the new Lincoln-Eliot will be at 150 Jackson Road, where the current Newton Early Childhood Program (NECP) resides. The former Horace Mann building was set to begin construction this summer to accommodate NECP. However, given the dramatic impact on City revenues and expenses brought about by COVID-19, we have made the decision to postpone the bidding and construction before committing to the $13 million in total NECP project costs. This in turn means that we must also pause the L-E project, which has been in the design phase.
Furthermore, the funding capacity to undertake the new Lincoln-Eliot project has been significantly impacted. COVID-19 repercussions on City of Newton revenues and expenses are already apparent, and this will put significant pressure on not just the Fiscal Year 2021 budget but also on 2022. We do not want to move forward with design when Lincoln-Eliot construction must unfortunately be delayed.
While this project delay is disappointing, our top priority right now is to protect our core services in our classrooms and in our buildings. We believe this is the most prudent measure we can take to preserve educational services given the severity of the financial impact and the unknown duration of the public health crisis.
Please know that we will continue to assess the financial conditions in order to determine when the new Lincoln-Eliot project is able to move forward.
You may be pleased to know that we took advantage of this unusual period with no teaching at 191 Pearl Street to replace all of the windows in our current Lincoln-Eliot. We look forward to the day when students and teachers are together in bright, beautiful and more energy efficient classrooms.
We hope you and your family are safe and well during this very challenging time.
Mayor Ruthanne Fuller David Fleishman
City of Newton Superintendent of Schools