Follow Up on the Middle School REBUILD Workshops
Middle School REBUILD
When it appeared that the undeveloped Centerpoint Church land and the existing Rundlett site were the only 2 locations being considered for the new middle school development project, Concord Greenspace launched a campaign to advocate for the latter as “Rebuild@Rundlett.” Our organization's mission is to advocate for smart, sustainable development in Concord. The smart growth approach encourages reinvesting in existing infrastructure —rather than building on undeveloped land (like the Centerpoint property). This approach makes the most of our city's investments in roads, bridges, water pipes, and other infrastructure, while strengthening Concord's tax base, protecting green space, increasing walkable neighborhoods, and preventing sprawl. Smart growth also prioritizes low-income and minority communities and champions robust community engagement. Since the Centerpoint property decision did not meet smart growth criteria - we began our advocacy campaign to rebuild the middle school at the existing South End site on existing infrastructure.
On October 16, 2022, the Centerpoint church congregation voted not to sell their undeveloped property to the School District. With the Centerpoint property off the table, the School District indicated it was looking at alternative locations to the existing Rundlett site. Concord Greenspace held a 2-part "Middle School Rebuild Community Workshop" to engage the community, the School District, and the Concord School Board in a deeper discussion around the school location and design. Participants discussed their priorities for the rebuild including: cost, equity, sustainability, walkability, educational opportunities, and safety & security. Our community webpage includes outcomes of these workshops and a feedback form for community members to continue to provide comments, questions, and concerns to the School District and Board.
Currenlty, the School Board is reviewing other possible locations for the new middle school. Concord Greenspace strongly advocates for the new middle school to be located on existing infrastructure on the east side of the highway where a large majority of our low-income and minority communities are located. The majority of Concord's community resources are located on the west side of the highway (Concord High School, downtown, the Library, City Hall, Concord Hospital), therefore locating the middle school on the east side serves to improve resource access, walkability, and health & safety outcomes for Concord's underserved children and encourages investment in our east side neighborhoods.
By investing in existing infrastructure on the east side (including schools, businesses, housing, and multiple public transportation options) and partnering with our City Planners to evaluate and pass the new Form Based Code zoning laws, we can effectively build up our city to create beautiful, thriving, affordable, and accessible communities for ALL Concord residents.
Equitable Financial Solutions
To that end, Concord Greenspace strongly urges the School District to find alternative solutions for funding the new school to avoid allowing the enormous cost of the new school (~$170,000,000) to fall on Concord's tax base. If it does, low-income families will no longer be able to afford to live here. Although it can be viewed that taking on the tax burden for a new school is "prioritizing children and education", in reality, it would only prioritize the children whose families are wealthy enough to stay. It is critical that we find equitable financial solutions.
Concord Greenspace will:
Monitor the School District's progress towards location selection for the new Middle School.
Urge the School District to build on existing infrastructure and deeply consider equity in site location and funding.
Encourage a robust and transparent community engagement process.
Check out the Community Page here!
And chime in using the Feedback Form here!