Overview of Projects: Need for Projects
All envelope components predate current energy code and Town of Wellesley stretch code requirements. Only the 1995 wing has a modern cavity and insulation system, but it lacks continuous air vapor barrier systems. The original 1938 building, although not insulated, has a mass wall construction of up to three wythes of brick and the wood framing has less conductivity than similar metal stud framing systems. None of the entrances have airlock vestibules. Typically, under-slab insulation/vapor barriers are not present in buildings of this vintage.
The metal framed windows in the 1957 addition are single glazed, missing glazing compound, are not thermally sealed. They account for roughly 25% of the building’s glazing. Also, the weep system shows signs of holding water, contributing to open seams and failed caulking. Many of these windows are non-operative and missing hardware.
In the 1980s, some of the windows in the Multipurpose room of the 1938 building were replaced with single-pane minimally efficient thermal glazing and fiberglass translucent glazing panels (i.e. Kalwall).
Some of the windows in the 1995 Media Center have lost their seal and are starting to show signs of vapor penetration between the double pane insulating glass.
The louvers on the roof are in fair condition, with the exception of the painted wood sills and frames where the dormer detail meets the roof flashing and shows sign of water damage and deterioration. Per facilities personnel the louvers in the Gymnasium are a constant source of water leakage despite multiple attempts at repair.
Emergency Egress Lighting and Exit Signs
Egress signs are not illuminated, and emergency lighting does not meet today’s code. See the Electrical section of this report.
There are specific building elements located throughout that are not in full compliance with current accessibility codes and regulations. The lack of handrail extensions and push- and pull-side clearances at doors predate American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAB) requirements and remain non-compliant as originally constructed. No accessible door operators are installed at the exterior doors. The force required to open exterior doors is non- compliant with ADA and MAAB requirements due to the weight of the exterior doors, condition of the closers, and the influence of wind pressure when entering and exiting the building. The stage in the Cafetorium is inaccessible, as it is only able to be accessed by stairs on either side.
Toilet room fixtures are antiquated, high-flow type. Toilet rooms are in fair physical condition throughout the building, with many toilet partitions having been replaced within the last few years. Most of the sinks have uninsulated, exposed piping below, and are not handicap accessible; however, there is a renovated handicap accessible facility available. There are not enough student or adult toilets to meet code requirements for quantity. There are also not enough fixtures available for assembly use groups.
The school has a series of cross corridor doors that are located where additions have been attached to the building. These doors were likely originally intended to provide smoke compartmentalization. As with the remainder of the building, there is no fire protection system in the attic of the 1938 building, only a heat sensor. See the Fire Protection section of this report.
Stairs and Ramps
The handrails do not comply with the current code requirements. In most cases, the handrail does not have a code compliant cross-section, handgrip area, clear space, end condition, or railing extensions at the bottom and top of the stairs. Guardrails are below the current required height requirement. FMD has noted that the exterior stairs to the boiler room and interior stairs to the attic are steep, making access and maintenance difficult.
In the ten-year period between 2009 and 2019, the District’s elementary enrollment declined by approximately 400 students. According to two independent demographic studies, one by Matt Cropper Assoc. and the other done in October 2016 by FutureThink this decline is projected to continue. Four of the District’s seven elementary schools have been remodeled and have capacities of 18 or 19 classrooms. The existing Hardy, Hunnewell & Upham (HHU) elementary schools have capacities of 15, 15, and 12 classrooms, respectively. But for the 2018-19 school year, the schools were using 14, 12, and 11 grade level classrooms, with other rooms used to support specialized programs and services for students. Numerous HHU studies have concluded that the physical conditions of the schools warrant major repair or full replacement.
In 2017 the Town formed a new School Building Committee to advance the replacement or renovation with addition of at least two of these three schools to address these aging facilities. The SBC is currently pursuing two parallel projects to achieve this goal. The Hunnewell elementary school project began its feasibility study in June of 2018. Please visit the Hunnewell project page for more information on that project. The Town of Wellesley was invited into the Massachusetts school building authority (MSBA) capital improvements program for the Upham elementary school project. The Upham school project will consider feasibility options for the replacement or renovation with addition on both the Hardy and Upham campuses. Please visit the Hardy & Upham project page for more information on that project.
Hunnewell Existing Conditions Summary
The existing Hunnewell Elementary School is located at 28 Cameron Street, Wellesley, MA. The existing school was originally constructed in 1938, with additions in 1957 and 1995, and two modular classrooms added in 1993. The building has a total area of 36,441 gross square feet, including 2,257 GSF for the modular classrooms. The building has reached beyond its life expectancy and does not meet the current educational standards of a 21st century education.
In general, the building is accessible, in practice, however, there are specific building elements throughout that are not in full compliance with current accessibility codes and regulations. Through an evaluation of the existing conditions, most building systems have been determined to have exceeded their useful life.
During this feasibility study, two incidents occurred at the Hunnewell School impacting the delivery of education and disrupting the use of multiple classrooms. The first incident occurred in March 2019, when a column in the basement boiler room of the original 1938 section fully deteriorated, requiring major structural repair. The two second grade classrooms directly above the structural column were vacated during the repair period. The second incident occurred in May 2019, when a fire damaged two fourth grade classrooms in the 1957 wing. The school was reopened five days later, but the damaged classrooms were closed for the remaining two months of the school year, and extensive cleaning were required during the summer.
A complete Existing Building Conditions report can be found in the Appendix of the Feasibility Study Report.
Hunnewell Elementary School was constructed in 1938, with additions in 1957 and 1995, and two modular classrooms added in 1993.