Rebuild@Rundlett is "Changing Course"

 FAQ

Why is the Coalition changing their stance on Rebuild at Rundlett? 

  • When we started the R@R initiative the District appeared to be moving quickly in the direction of rebuilding the middle school on the Centerpoint church land on Clinton Street.  In an attempt to stop that fast moving train on its tracks, we quickly launched the R@R campaign.  At the time, Centerpoint and the existing site were the only options under consideration. We took a thorough look at both sites, listened to what community members were saying, we looked at the research around walkability and other factors, we engaged experts, and then, when it was clear we had enough to support moving forward, we started community organizing around "R@R".  Now that Centerpoint is off the table and there are possibly other sites under consideration, we feel it's important to give each site the same consideration we gave the existing Rundlett site & Centerpoint.   

  • Furthermore, the decision to change course was made from our team's core value of equity.  We've heard feedback from folks on the east side concerned that the R@R team will fight against the Broken Ground site if it's back on the table (the school would be built on undeveloped land at the site).  We feel strongly that growth for Concord should prioritize serving underserved communities and having the middle school sited on the east side would be beneficial to that end.  Currently, many of Concord's resources are located on the west side (Concord High School, downtown, Concord Public Library, City Hall, Memorial Field) and relocating the middle school to the east side would be one small step towards having our resources better serve ALL of Concord.  We haven't done a deep dive in researching the Broken Ground or Steeplegate Mall sites because until now neither was on the table for consideration so we don't know the details.  At first glance we can't rule out any option that may better serve our underserved communities in Concord. This is why we "changed course" to have a deeper, wider community discussion about the location. 

This summer there was a strong community backing to keeping the middle school where it is. Moving forward, is rebuilding at the current site still an option?

  • Yes! Rebuilding at the existing site is most definitely still on the table.  The School Board narrowed in on those two sites initially because they were the MOST viable options. We believe it is our job as an organization to look at the pros and cons of each possible site (as we did when there were only two options on the table).  In addition, based on community feedback that many people felt their viewpoints weren’t being heard, we are committed to having a wider, deeper community discussion. 

Many of us spoke up to support rebuilding at Rundlett. Why is it a discussion again? How do we know neighbors’ concerns and wishes are being listened to?

  • Thank you for speaking up! We couldn't have gotten this far without you all! Rebuilding on the Rundlett site is 100% still on the table (and may still be the best choice). However, we can't be effective in community organizing around an issue without listening, researching, and discussing all the options on the table - just like we did at the start when it was only Rundlett vs Centerpoint.  

  • We have also learned that some community members feel strongly that two middle schools or a return to K-8 schools are what’s best for our children. We feel it's important to weigh all the options at hand and include as many stakeholders as possible in the discussion before making a final recommendation, even if that final choice is to rebuild at Rundlett.  

  • We still have the signatures of almost 400 community members and will continue to share this document with the School Board.  PLUS, we have a new Community Feedback submission form to get your thoughts on project priorities and which will include a space for input on other sites once the Board announces what sites are being reconsidered.

Since changing course, what have you done/are you doing to engage the community?
Great question! On Wednesday, October 26 & November 16th, we held PART ONE & TWO of a two part open, community-wide charrette led by Carissa Corrow of Educating For Good. You can read about these workshops, discussions and the priorities that emerged here.

It seems like it’s always the same people involved. How do we know what the rest of the community wants?

We are learning as we go and acknowledge that in our early efforts, we missed engaging a broad swath by relying on a few strategies (blog posts, social media, yard signs, word of mouth). PS. The Coalition was born in May 2022. As the Coalition and the R@R movement have grown and matured, we are now working to be more inclusive and create a safe and accessible space for more stakeholders. We have done the following things to move towards this goal and we welcome YOUR suggestions on how we can be more inclusive and engaging to ALL.

  • We now hold meetings and community gatherings at the City Wide Community Center, which is more easily accessible by foot and public transportation for residents of the East Side.

  • We invite people to bring their children if they need to and we serve food and snacks when meetings fall during dinner.

  • We’ve engaged non-partisan experts to lead discussions.

  • We invite all School Board Members and Candidates to participate.

  • We welcome oral, written, emailed feedback and collate ALL of it in a single space to be shared with the leadership equally.

  • After every event, we review feedback and use it to make improvements to future events.

  • We continue to welcome ANY and ALL community members to join us at events and leadership meetings. We are only as strong as our members!

 

THANK YOU!