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  • Writer's pictureCG3

Moving Forward on the Middle School Project

Concord Greenspace (CG3) is truly grateful to every community member who engaged in the process around the new middle school location. Some individuals have been involved and advocating since May 2022. We share your disappointment and frustration with the process and a decision that ignored the vast majority of the public input received.  While we may not have landed where we had hoped, that does not mean that our efforts were in vain! This movement was an inspiring example of the power of average citizens to educate themselves, engage in the civic process, and to show up for what we value. We will not win on every issue, but we will keep working to hold our elected officials accountable, and we hope you do as well.

With a new year upon us, our organization has decided to move forward as we believe this to be in the best interest of the students. We know that a new school is urgently needed and securing State funding is vitally important; our efforts have not interfered with the process of obtaining funding for the rebuild but moving forward we are cautious of delaying or jeopardizing State aid. CG3 is not leaving this issue behind and we plan to remain engaged.

As the process to build a new middle school for Concord continues, we will hold the School Board accountable to the goals and reasons they gave for relocating the school to Broken Ground including:

  • Improving equity in clear and measurable ways, such as

    • improving communication and outreach to hard-to-reach families,

    • facilitating opportunities for a larger portion of community members to participate in school events,

    • promoting inclusion and belonging when designing the physical space,

  • Intentionally incorporating outdoor education into curricular goals,

  • Seeking to optimize costs at each step of the process and maintaining financial transparency for taxpayers including accounting for the utility and roadway costs that are not included in the School Board's cost projections but are nevertheless funded by City taxpayers (while recognizing that costs are not always the sole driver of the School Board’s decisions),

  • Guiding the community through the transition to the new Middle School location in the months leading up to the move and throughout the first years of the new space, and

  • Minimizing the disruption to students, parents, faculty and administration at Rundlett Middle, Mill Brook and Broken Ground Schools.

We will also hold them to account for the values CG3 holds : smart growth, equitable development and climate action:

  • Providing bus transportation for all students living more than 1 mile from school, thereby reducing the mandatory walking radius for middle school students to 1 mile from 1.5 mile,

  • Establishing Safe Routes to School and incorporating those pathways into the project; this school should not open without vetted and safe pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure,

  • Minimizing environmental damage by locating the building and fields on the site so that they have the LEAST impact on existing trees, trails and wildlife,

  • Responsibly managing the closure and sale of the existing Rundlett building so as not to leave a vacant and dangerous toxic structure neighboring an elementary school nor allowing development with a potential negative impact to a vital neighborhood, 

  • Involving Concord residents in the decisions made around the sale of the Rundlett Middle School property - the property is owned by the taxpayers and we should have a say in the future of that property, and

  • Transparency in governance via

    • a public record of communications in the forms of emails, letters, surveys, petitions, written accounts on which decisions are based,

    • improved public input process,

    • increased outreach to hard-to-reach communities.

In addition, we will reiterate the following concerns regarding non-physical elements that were generated in the community conversations that we led last Spring (the full list can be viewed here):

  • Exploring merging the two school districts so that all Concord residents are within the same district,

  • Identifying core values and intentionally addressing them in the curriculum to improve building culture and safety for all students, faculty, and staff,

  • Providing a detailed timeline for bolstering school and family mental health services at the middle school,

  • Improving morale and establishing the school as a community resource,

  • Addressing racism, intolerance and hate in our public schools

  • Establishing curriculum designed to build K-8 connections, and

  • Prioritizing safety and security of students in school design.

CG3 worked as hard as we could on this effort. Pending any additional information coming to light, this will conclude our efforts on school location.  We will continue to engage with the Concord School District, School Board, and community to promote greater accountability and transparency. We will be continuing to follow this process to ensure that the school district makes decisions that live up to their stated aims and our values related to the safety of students, environmental impacts, and traffic concerns. We thank you again for your support and leadership. 

We wish you all a very Happy New Year!

With Gratitude,

The CG3 Team

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