Rebuild at Rundlett: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the goal of Rebuild at Rundlett?


Rebuild at Rundlett wants the Concord School District to build a new middle school on the existing Rundlett property rather than build the school at the proposed CenterPoint Church property on Clinton Street. We want to sustainably rebuild Rundlett onsite in order to:

  • ​Decrease cost to taxpayers,

  • Prevent increased traffic and congestion on Clinton Street and intersecting streets,

  • Promote child safety,

  • Preserve walkability, bikeability, and equity in access, and

  • Protect the green resources, history and character of our city.

  • Take a closer look here.


What is the best way to show my support for Rebuild at Rundlett?


  1. PRIORITY ACTION: EMAIL SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS - email template HERE.

  2. SIGN THE PETITION

  3. Attend the Middle School rebuild School Board mtg Tuesday, June 21 at 6 PM - RSVP

  4. Talk with neighbors about Rebuild at Rundlett (R@R).

  5. Pick up a yard sign - contact rebuildatrundlett@gmail.com

  6. Share R@R posts on social media!

  7. Join us on Facebook.


What’s wrong with building a new middle school at the proposed CenterPoint Church property?


Locating the new middle school on Clinton Street would place students on a dangerous commuting corridor. This car-only plan negatively impacts walkability and opens the door for urban sprawl. Developing the CenterPoint land also irreparably destroys critical green space supporting the last north/south wildlife corridor in Concord. We hope to work with CenterPoint and the City to consider placing the property into conservation to preserve this valuable green space and prime community farm land.



Is Rebuild at Rundlett supported by only a small group of vocal residents?


While Rebuild at Rundlett was initially organized by a small group of residents, a petition in support of Rebuild at Rundlett has now been signed by over 300 Concord residents from all wards in Concord. Many of those signing the petition are from Ward 7, which is where Rundlett is currently located. In addition, comments submitted through the petition show that many Concord residents strongly support the goals of Rebuild at Rundlett.



Why is building a new middle school at Rundlett being promoted now? Wasn’t building a new middle school at Rundlett already considered and rejected as not being viable? Isn’t building a new school at the proposed new CenterPoint property on Clinton Street a done deal?


The first time the public heard about the potential to relocate the school to Clinton Street was on March 16 and the School District only first presented details to the public at meetings held in April and May, 2022.

  • The School District has repeated at the public meetings that a final site determination has not been made and there are still studies to be completed.

  • They have not completed traffic studies, safe routes to school analysis, or determined the offsite improvements (road and sidewalk work) needed that the City would be responsible for maintaining.

  • The District has never rejected the existing site.

  • When the District awarded the contract to HMFH Architects in January 2022, HMFH was directed to prepare proposals for the existing site and one alternate site.


See the Middle School rebuild project timeline here:

Middle School Project Timeline
.pdf
Download PDF • 555KB


Will Rebuilding at Rundlett slow down the process of building a new middle school?


No. A critical deadline for the School District is to apply for a School Building Aid grant from the NH Department of Education by July 1, 2022. RAR is asking the district to not list any site deficiencies on the grant application, which would allow grant funds to be used at any site. The building deficiencies at Rundlett, which are numerous, may still be listed in the grant application. Rebuild at Rundlett supports building a new middle school at Rundlett as soon as possible.



Isn’t the existing property at Rundlett too small to build a new school?


The School District presented the size of the existing site as substandard (11 acres) at the public meetings in April and May 2022 based on inaccurate tax records. However, when Rebuild at Rundlett brought this discrepancy to the attention of the School District, the School District’s engineers confirmed the available land is actually 22 acres. The misstatement of size by the School District was due to an inadvertent error.



Don’t only a small number of students walk or bike to Rundlett?


Rebuild at Rundlett volunteers counted students on a recent morning and found approximately 100 students walked or biked to school.

  • This is over 10% of the total 900 students who attend Rundlett, which is a significant number of students who incorporate this physical activity into their day.

  • While the 100 student count is based on one day only, it’s meaningfully higher than the 75 students the School District previously shared as an estimate of walkers and bikers.


Why can’t we build a new middle school in the Heights instead?


The School District conducted a search of available properties all over Concord. Their major considerations included available infrastructure and tax base, as well as things like traffic congestion and walkability. Two sites in the Heights were considered to our knowledge.

  1. The first was a parcel the School District owns near Broken Ground School that would have required expensive additional infrastructure and had significant traffic concerns.

  2. The second was the Steeplegate Mall parcel, but that would have taken a large property off the tax rolls to become tax exempt.


Does the CenterPoint property estimated cost include off-site costs, meaning the costs the City of Concord will need to incur in addition to School District costs?


The District is planning to present costs at the June 21, 2022 public meeting on the Middle School Project. These costs would likely not reflect off-site costs because a traffic study has not been completed. It is also unlikely that the maintenance costs the City would bear in the future would be included.

RSVP to the June 21st Public Hearing here.



Can Rundlett Middle School be renovated rather than building a new school?


The School Board voted in 2019 to build a new school instead of renovating the old school. The existing building is past its useful life and would require significant upgrades to major systems as well as a new roof. It is more cost-effective for the School District and taxpayers to build a new school building.



Won’t building a new school at the Rundlett property result in a building located too close to neighboring homeowners?


The portion of the existing site that is dedicated to the middle school is 22 acres, which should allow for appropriate setbacks to property lines. The site was previously indicated to be 11 acres, but that was in error and the District’s engineers have confirmed it is actually 22 acres.



What will happen to the Rundlett parcel if a new middle school is built on the CenterPoint Church land on Clinton Street?


The School District would sell the Rundlett portion of the parcel for private development.



Won’t student learning be too disrupted by building a new middle school on the existing Rundlett parcel?

The School District’s concepts from 2017 show that the new school can be built on the athletic fields without impacting the existing school building. There will be noise associated with construction, but it should not require any significant disruptions to students attending Rundlett. There appears to be no reason to think that portable classrooms will be necessary given the revised available acreage. Temporary accommodations for athletic fields will be necessary during construction.



Please contact your School Board members - email template and School Board contacts here.


Gratefully,

The Rebuild@Rundlett Team





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