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Updated exterior design for new Lincoln Elementary School presented to School Board following Design Review Board feedback

March 11, 2019 


Previous Lincoln Design Concept Updated Lincoln Design Concept


The District and its architect, Plunkett Raysich Architects (PRA), presented slight modifications to the exterior design of the new Lincoln Elementary School during the Wauwatosa School Board meeting on Monday, March 11.


The tweaks are in response to feedback from members of the City’s Design Review Board, an advisory group of mayor-appointed members tasked with ensuring the exterior design and aesthetic of new construction provide continuity with the surrounding neighborhoods. All new construction designs must be presented to the Design Review Board as part of the process to obtain a building permit through the City of Wauwatosa.


On Thursday, February 21, the District presented to the Design Review Board the Schematic Design (exterior and site) of Lincoln Elementary, which was developed through significant community feedback via neighborhood meetings as well as an online process. During the meeting, the Design Review Board felt the new Lincoln Elementary should have more modern exterior elements.


“The traditional looking design of the new Lincoln is meant to match the original 1919 building - which is being maintained and completely renovated – and picks up on the design of the existing entry of the building on Warren Ave,” PRA Lead Designer Michael Sobczak told the school board. “The Design Review Board thought perhaps there was too much brown, so you’ll see some strategies we are employing to address that.”


The minor changes to the design are mainly in the materials to be used; incorporating additional grey colored stone throughout the front façade and on the side of the gym wall to break up the large mass of brown. The canopy on the front entry was also reduced in size and squared versus rounded. The overall layout of the site remains the same.


“To be respectful of the process that has taken place, we have made some minor tweaks to the exterior facade that reflects some of the comments made by the City’s Design Review Board, while maintaining the overall traditional aesthetic identified as the preference of neighbors via community input,” Buildings and Grounds Manager Melissa Nettesheim told the school board.

The District and PRA also presented slight updates to the exterior design of the new Underwood Elementary, again focused on the materials and colors of the building. The update incorporates brick and stone product with durable cement board material (made to look like wood) that looks more neutral.


The school board approved the updates to the exterior design and the District and its architect will present the updated exterior design to the Design Review Board on March 21st for additional feedback. Formal submission of the designs to the City for approval will be in early April. The approval process will also include:

  • City Plan Commission for a conditional use permit - All schools are conditional uses, as they are in residential areas. There will be a public hearing date set by the City.
  • Common Council for Final Approval

View Updated Lincoln Elementary Designs