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 Participant Responses

At the Part 1 workshop, community members ranked their priorities for the Middle School Rebuild.  At Part 2, we broke those priorities down by asking "what is the most important aspect of this priority to you?"  Here's what we learned:


Let’s prioritize children and education - the Middle School is an important investment - let’s do it right and sustainably to reduce costs down the road:

  • I’m not primarily worried about cost.  We never spend enough on education.

  • Do not care about cost, we’re the state capital

  • I don’t care (cost is not my priority)

  • Schools are expensive, let’s do it right

  • The cost describes the structure, opportunities, a place and equity.

  • Our students and staff deserve to get what they need.  We don’t have to be super pricy, but let’s not skimp.

  • Not the lowest bidder

  • This is the city’s most important investment, we should not cut corners, be willing to make sacrifices and work with city council

  • A well designed school that is safe and fosters the best learning will be money well spent.

  • Better to invest now, then “cheap-out”.  RMS is 57 years old.

  • Support of products that will support the life of the building.

  • Important factors for everything - to stay safe and sustain forever.

  • I feel like the benefits - sustainability and longevity and providing as much as we can in a budget that feels good for most members.

  • Cost effective, build with the goal of net zero.

  • This will be difficult to balance.  Don’t cheap out on insulation, mechanicals, solar, and high efficiency.  These will easily pay for themselves in reduced operation costs.  The TCO must be measured, not just capital.

Ensure school size accommodates growth:

  • Keep in mind that Concord will grow and make the school large enough to accommodate this

  • Utilize other grants - federal ??? utilize local college for support, build it for expansion - have a conceptual future plan.

If the huge cost of the school goes to the tax base Concord will become too expensive for many families to live here - thus we’ve prioritized children and education but only for those who can afford to live here:

  • Cost - limited resources, cannot increase taxes since this will force some people out of our city, but must face needs.

  • Priority number 1 - taxes are already high.Cost of 175 million would be approx ½ that if it weren’t for recession as in 3 elem schools priced at low point of 2007-2014 recession - 2009!!!

  • Need to balance need for new building versus cost to taxpayer, property taxes already so high

  • Without state assistance or significant reduction in the scope of work, it will be challenging to pay for the project at this time

  • We need to keep Concord affordable for a diverse population, tax payers must be supportive.

  • People are already finding it hard to afford Concord rents and taxes - try to find innovative ways to accomplish goals

  • Can we wait two years for the next state budget?  Can we build one school and then another later? We want to make sure that we don’t make it unaffordable to live in Concord.  Can we add new tax types?

  • Provide a new school that has improved design, but does not overextend tax payers. It’s been needed for 30 years.


  • I want to know how my taxes are spent and how the decisions were made.

Reasonable cost:

  • I just want it to be reasonable.  I don’t mind investment.

Necessary priority:

  • Cost is a priority in the sense that a new school must be built so we need to have capital to complete the project ASAP.


  • Want the school designed inexpensively enough to be funded as soon as possible.


Physical safety incorporated into design of school:

  • Limit number of doors, camera security

  • Policy and procedures that are regularly reviewed and revised if needed.

  • A building that has proper entrances and exits, safe windows, safe entrances, proper cameras, and security camera making sure you can see who is entering/exiting.

  • Make it difficult for outsiders to come into the school and grounds.  Potential for hand scanner for parents and students.

  • Utilize groups or grants for systems and/or suppliers.  Need spots for everyone.  Recess for example.

  • Cameras, access, etc are key.

  • Tons of visibility.  No places of isolation, separation of grade levels.

  • Create safe building from both a physical plan needs as well as an environment that supports safe places for the students.

  • Place to safely move if needed.  Parent notification.

  • Providing an environment that is safe from internal (i.e. bullying) and external (school shooters) issues.

  • What the District has already done or is doing is fine:

  • Done 

All students, parents, and neighbors feel safe with their kids there.  All teachers and staff feel safe at school.
No YMCA on campus:

  • I don’t want the YMCA on the school site.  Hard to secure in case of emergency


  • A place where all students and staff feel safe.  Understanding the current environment and addressing safety concerns.  Please be innovative with design and staff positions.  Defaulting to an SRO is harmful to students and student outcomes, we can do better.

  • Half of the students feel safer with resource officers, Half don’t.

Social & emotional safety:

  • I want the school to provide social and emotional safety and security and a sense of belonging.

  • Helping kids feel safe is about more than just a building.  We don’t want to build a prison.  Nothing will ever be totally safe.  Policies may help more than facilities.  More guidance counselors & school psychologists.

  • DEI & trauma trained counselors at school

Kids need to feel safe to learn:

  • I’m not sure exactly what this looks like, but have heard from my students that they don’t feel safe and secure in the current space which likely inhibits learning.

  • This is an important priority because young people need to live and study in a place/environment that has enough security and safety

  • Children need to feel safe and secure to be able to learn and develop at school

  • I would call this the second most important - hard to learn if you are scared and unacceptable that student don’t come home ok.  

  • Safety is paramount for our kids to be able to learn.  Better laws needed.  Must also not be oppressive. 

  • Safety and security is the priority because make sure every child is safe at the school - big that parents should trust.  Kids need to feel safe in order to learn.

Walkability increases safety:

  • Walking to and from school is safer when houses are closer together.

  • Safety & Security is the HIGHEST priority:

  • Most important given status of the world and current condition of school

  • Keeping students and staff safe in all situations is top priority.

  • This should be a huge priority going forward with what students and teachers face every day.

Not a prison:

  • There needs to be balance between safety/security and the use of the building as a public facility.

  • I’m tired of waiting for gun control and safety drills that traumatize the kids.  Obviously we need thoughtful design for security but not prison.

  • Yes it is important and should be wired into design.  But schools must not be prisons.  Improving safety is more about addressing external threats than by fortifications.

  • Helping kids feel safe is about more than just a building.  We don’t want to build a prison. 

Safe design and outloud community conversations re: handling vs public policies to protect kids. 



Developmentally targeted and research-based educational opportunities:

  • Middle School is not elementary or high school. The program should be specific for tweeners. With programming to kinetically address the question “when will I use this in life?

  • The most important thing!  Let’s build a school based on the latest research of what’s best for kids this age. How can we make this a place that will make this a place that will make teaching and learning easier and work for most kids. 

  • Middle school is a crucial period in each child’s educational pathway. Research shows that major life decisions are made during this time. We have an obligation to provide our students with a variety of opportunities that will inform their trajectory. 

  • An environment that allows students to learn in the middle school setting that is appropriate for their age and development. A school that serves students of all educational abilities. Set up as junior high rather than middle school. 

  • School as a learning tool/student contribution

Broad range of high quality opportunities including arts, languages, physical activities, clubs, community:

  • AP course work, arts and theater programs, club space and support, community space, and structure. Incorporates learning, LESD?, Abenaki art while, etc

  • Having a diverse range of topics/labs, and physical activities and resources, including tutors,  to enrich kids lives

  • The physical location and structure of the building should be intentional with an awareness of creating spaces that maximize a range of opportunities and experiences.

  • Providing our children with diverse opportunities, having something for everyone, state of the art facility. 

  • Middle school students need a wide variety of course options. Ways to feel they are making some independent choices, in addition to grade curriculum. Connecting to resources in the community, businesses, arts, history, other schools. The building should support a variety of interests. 

  • Prepare our future citizens for a competitive world. Need more foreign language exposure, need to provide opportunities based on how the children learn. 

  • Languages, many diverse learning programs. 

  • Broad array of experiences for all students including non/traditional curriculum. 

  • Want children to access high quality opportunities to learn engaging and relevant skills for  future careers. 

  • As close to what is available now, but hopefully with more art and music programs

  • To explore, be challenged, learn about yourself and others.  Opportunity to develop relationship, responsible citizenship.

School will have educational opportunities just by being a new facility:

  • This is a mid level priority to me. I feel the new school will provide resources and lead to new opportunities just by being a new plant. 

  • A newer building will enhance the educational opportunities and efficiencies of the middle school experience. A bigger site could create additional educational activities. 

  • I care least given state of Rundlett now. Would like at least functional science classrooms for all grades. 

Outdoor learning and spaces:

  • Ensuring that the building is designed and constructed in such a fashion as to allow students to leverage technology, outdoor spaces etc for learning. 

  • Outdoor space for learning

  • I want state of the art science labs, acoustically excellent performance spaces, interactive natural spaces for outside learning. 

  • Outdoor space, community service, being a good community member, look out for others, help those less fortunate. 

  • Incorporating nature into curriculum, evidence shows students spending time in nature improves mental health. Outdoor space is very important; more space (indoor/outdoor) outside of traditional classroom. 

  • Outdoor learning, place-based learning, field trips and bring the community elders into teach. 

  • Meets all multipathway needs, indoor/outdoor classroom learning experience, flexible technology. 

  • Outdoor education, new building = more space, more rooms. Highest priority. 

No child left behind:

  • No child should be left behind. Where doesn’t matter, but the child should get quality education in a peaceful environment. 

  • Make sure we are providing academic/social/emotional support for struggling students by having spaces for that. 

  • It is important to me that students are provided a good education based on their needs. Examples: kids with extra needs get those needs met. Kids who excel are not stifled and are given additional opportunities. A means of assessing how kids learn better. 

  • Providing equal opportunities to all students and staff. 

  • Not to leave anyone out of any activity. 

  • Unlimited opportunities for all involved.

Highest priority:

  • By far the most important- that is what the school is for and a school that only meets the other 5 is a failure. 


No opinion. 



Equity is the highest priority:

  • This is the most important topic because it’s a standard of how the community needs to function in terms of systemic and infrastructure.

  • The Priority

  • Every kid has full opportunities in education and extracurricular regardless of race, religion, socio economic situation, etc.

  • I think the Rundlett project can serve as a model for how to unify opportunity across Concord.

  • All students are equal, no one gets better treatment.

School design to support equity:

  • The school must be built with class → cluster —>grade level —>whole school

  • I would like community oriented spaces and a culture of interaction that allows students to bond regardless of background

  • Having a space for all students to thrive and have equal opportunity- special ed, quiet spaces, safe spaces.

  • Make spaces available to students they are interested in and they feel comfortable in

  • Make spaces where kids feel comfortable being themselves

  • Equal facilities for all age groups, places for students to be after school, place for students to get personal supplies.

  • Provide programs and an environment that meets the needs of all learners

Equitable location & transportations -  two middle schools:

  • Location considers resources for our city’s population

  • Want to make sure all kids can participate in after school activities

  • We need 2 middle schools.  Two schools doubles the opportunities.  I like the idea of the middle school on the east side.

  • The advantage of a single school creates equitable opportunities for all students.  Creating two schools would create two different cultures.

  • Shared burden/opportunities to attend/participate, with emphasis on disadvantaged populations to better access school and programs.

  • Need after sports bus transports, to Heights especially.. A decades old problem

Ensure an inclusive process for addressing the middle school that includes all voices:

  • It’s important to me that we hear all types of voices in the process to ensure that we are over-indexing on efforts to be equitable

  • What do New Americans and lower SES Communities want from a new school?  How can we make up for past injustices with this school? Look at what isn’t working now and fix it.  How can we keep special education students in mind?  

  • I prefer to listen in discussions about equity rather than speaking up first and loudest.


  • Access for all or any disabilities

  • Providing a safe environment for all students and their families as an education experience that in inclusive for all is key.  This is evident in a building that is accessible to all.

  • Everyone should be and has the right to be treat equal and have equal opportunities - ADA

No one should be afraid to go to school

Support services:

  • I know that equity is hard to sustain, but starting with free music, sports and food.

  • Providing opportunities that level the playing field - walkability, community assistance funds for activities, creating a school that benefits all students.

  • Very important to make sure all students have access to resources needed to get quality education and succeed after school - not equality.

  • All inclusive, free lunch for all students to provide level playing field

  • Services, entire community, attends to needs of many, equity is impacted by all of other numbers.

Diverse staff:

  • Equal opportunity for all our citizens - social, socio-economic, LGBTQ all must feel comfortable, diversity in teachers and staff too.

Vague definition:

  • Very vague definition here, ideally everyone should be allowed to work to their own goal rather than artificial goal selected for “equity.”

Low Priority:

  • Can’t be everything to everyone, some may be better served in other facility, outdoor space can help with this.



Net zero & environmental factors:

  • Net zero

  • Net zero

  • Net zero school if possible

  • Net neutral.

  • As close to carbon neutral as possible.  Conserve H20, make use of new technologies, also include vehicles and equipment

  • Transportation (public, walk), building design, long term materials, outdoor gathering space

  • Do not pollute the environment.

  • New school should be energy efficient and renewable materials.

  • Net Zero, combat global warming, set a good example for our kids, learning opportunity for the whole.

  • Important to use environmentally sustainable building materials and reduce future greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change.

  • Sustainable is being responsible for generations to follow  Net zero, environment, carbon footprint.

  • Renewable resources, less carbon footprint, LEED certified or ability to be certified.

Quality materials, longevity & growth:

  • The most appropriate material and building techniques should be used to create a building that breathes, 

  • We need to make sure we invest in a building that will be around for a long time. We need to make sure it’s big enough that we don’t grow out of it in the next 10 years.

  • Safe building materials, reduce plastics if possible.  Comfortable materials.

  • I don’t want to do this again in 20 years.  I want a building that lasts and is mindful of efficiency and the environment.

  • Longevity of building and growth in building, cost savings, decreasing the impact on the environment

Innovative solutions (solar/geothermal) - offset costs:

  • I think it would be great to incorporate solar panels/geothermal to lesson costs down the road

  • A building that’s connected to the environment uses the environment to impact stewardship, how the building functions (ie gardening, green house)

  • I want innovative spaces that utilize solar, composting, grey water recycling - practices already possible, but require thoughtful design and attention.

  • Consider things like solar, may offset longer term costs.  

  • A building that considers technology for students.  

  • I think it makes sense to invest in sustainable initiatives that will pay off in the long run, like solar panels, good insulation, automatic lights etc.  Location should also be a huge factor here.  

  • Solar would be great.

Long term goals:

  • This matters because we need to focus on concepts that help us decide things/decisions about longer term goals.

  • The facility should sustain forever century to century with norms and values and ethics.

  • Sustainability as a model for learning:

  • A school building should focus on sustainability as a model for both the community and the students as to how we can strive to be good global citizens.

  • This is part of the education experience as we work to preserve our planet for future generations

  • Net Zero, combat global warming, set a good example for our kids, learning opportunity for the whole

  • Decreasing the impact on the environment, educational modeling to students and families, learning opportunities.

Cost/benefit analysis:

  • Very important.  Control operational costs, school and transportation.

  • On the existing site there could be limited sustainability options.  The cost benefit analysis would need to justify the additional cost.

Green but not “net zero”:

  • Green but not certified or net zero required, use all energy systems, reduced maintenance outside, i.e. turf fields = less mowing, planning future planning.

  • Natural gas onsite existing school

Lower priority:

  • What is considered “sustainable” will vary over time.  Hitting this moving target should be a lesser goal.

  • Students needs are paramount, should generally over environmental concerns with regard to location.




High priority:

  • Encourages healthy activity, reduces traffic congestion and pollution, reduces taxpayer money for busing, allows more kids to go to school events.

  • Important - would like for my own child but would rather walkability for largest mass to/fron school, fields, afterschool, factors into safety.

  • Shared options to walk to school! Bike to school! Public transportation to school! Parents/caregivers/guardians.

  • Health & Increase Community:

  • Promotion Healthy activities, walking, biking.. Obesity

  • Walking is healthy

  • Brings health benefits,allows kids a way to get to/from school if bus is not an option.

  • Want maximum number of students to be able to walk for public health.

  • I opposed the Clinton Street site in part due to walkability.  Bussing will be necessary due to Concord’s size, but reducing the need is important.  Also school=community.

  • I believe a walkable school is important for health and also makes the school an important community hub.

Equity & demographics:

  • Students and families with limited access to vehicles should be considered

  • I don’t care as it relates to Rundlett I care more if there is a walkable site closer to the Heights.

  • Walkability should be based on demographics.  How has our community population changed?Who needs the neighborhood school?

  • I think this is an equity question.  We can never be walkable for everyone, so we should center equity in our decision on who to bias to.

  • East Concord —>many families without transportation.

  • The ability to get to activities for all students, the ability to get to destination safely.


Two schools:

  • Having two schools would help with this a lot.  Helps with sustainability.  Helps with community, feel of school.  Good for exercise!  Tough with one city-wide school. We need to look at where the students are, not just population.

  • If this is a primary goal, we need to reconsider two middle schools to double the number who can walk?  How many parents will let their kids walk?

Lower priority:

  • Nice to have, but not affordable.  Too many neighborhoods. 

  • Doesn’t matter

  • Desirable, but difficult to apply to more than 25% of community.  Not a key item in middle school as it is in elementary school.

  • Don’t care/low priority.

  • Walking can’t work for all, so not important to me.  Bus stops, more busses, crosswalks

  • RMS is a city school - like CHS.  A campus that allows for athletics and a great building is more important than walkability, especially if we get electric buses.

  • Not too important to me.  Wherever it is will limit who can walk there.  More important to have adequate athletic facilities for all kids.

  • No matter where this will work for some But Not All

Use existing site:

  • A huge plus for keeping the school in the same location, although I know it is impossible to include everyone in this.

  • Rebuild allows for way more! Rebuild @ Rundlett.

  • Walkability good in south end - lots of sidewalks and eyes in closely spaced homes.


  • It needs to be safe for students to walk to the school and home on their own (crosswalks, sidewalks, etc).

  • Chance to participate in “Safe Routes to school program” via the NHDOT.

  • The ability to get to activities for all students, the ability to get to destination safely.

Other ideas/priorities:


Teacher staff support:

  • Child care on site for staff

  • Lactation rooms with sinks

  • Teacher retention should be kept in mind.  Build a school where teachers will love to work.  How can we build a school where we need out of district placements as little as possible?


  • Other Groups - YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, other? Daycare

  • YMCA partnership does not make sense.

  • Need to decide about Y before continuing the school plan.  Consider building at centrally located site owned by city behind post office - issues of flood plain and agriculture can be overcome

Two Middle Schools:

  • 1 middle schools - more of community school

Fundraising for costs:

  • School District start a fund for savvy fundraising so costs don’t fall on tax base

  • Provide donations for naming and funding athletic facilities


Other school models:

  • Oyster River


Location, opportunity, safety:

  • Want the school to be located on a safe street

  • Ability to have the high school and middle school close together to share resources and provide more opportunities


Athletic facilities:  

  • I really think the middle school needs its own campus away from ADS - TURF

  • Athletic facilities

  • Athletic Facilities

  • Our other ideas must be a year round all day facility


Teaching Method:

  • Should a building be designed to support a teaching method.


Wow Factor:

  • The “Wow” factor!  I want people to see the school!  Sculpture gardens, tech innovations, etc. 

  • WOW the kids!  Let’s make them excited to be there with the building design.


  • How to bring community into kids education.  

  • Impact on neighborhood and neighbors



  • Timing - costs too high for materials now, but maybe in 3 years it will be lower

  • Timing - I don’t want to prolong this anymore.

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