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Middle School REBUILD

IMPORTANT: Please watch the School Board work session video from August 14th prior to the PUBLIC HEARINGS at the end of September!

Middle School Rebuild

In this work session, the rebuild Architects lay out the various siting options for the middle school on both the Rundlett and Broken Ground sites.  Many questions get answered.  Important to watch PRIOR to the PUBLIC HEARINGS at the end of September!

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CURRENT SITUATION

On July 10th, 2023, after months of exploring potential sites for a new middle school, the Concord School District presented two locations to the School Board for discussion.  The sites include:

 

  1. On the current grounds of the existing Rundlett Middle School, which has a 20-acre area available for the construction of a new school building; and

  2. On a 56-acre parcel of raw land on South Curtisville Road, near Broken Ground School and Mill Brook School.  

On August 14th, 2023, the School Board held a work session including a presentation from the rebuild architects on the two different locations and how the middle school could be sited on both pieces of land.  They answer many of the burning questions we've received from community members so please watch this video prior to the Public Hearings planned for Sept 26th and 27th.

On August 16th, 2023, Concord Greenspace held a community listening session to discuss the pros and cons of each site.  The notes from that session are here and the summary to the School Board is here.

 

This August, the School District launched a new website completely dedicated to keeping you informed on the Middle School Rebuild Project - check it out at www.concordmiddleschoolproject.org. Please refer to this website for updates and information on PUBLIC HEARINGS.  To weigh in on the project, please email the School Board at concordinfo@sau8.org.

PUBLIC HEARINGS will be held on:

  • September 26th 6pm -Mill Brook School

  • September 27th 6pm -Virtual via zoom

 

NEXT STEPS

  1. Watch the School Board works session and HMFH Architects presentation on the Middle School locations here

  2. Check out Concord Greenspace's Community Listening Session notes here.

  3. Attend the School District PUBLIC HEARINGS on the middle school site locations on:

    • September 26th in person at Mill Brook School 6pm

    • September 27th virtual by zoom 5:30 pm

NOTES FROM THE CAPITAL FACILITIES MEETING 8/3/23 (view video here):

  • Updates on financing and Department of Education funding changes were discussed. 

  • At the Broken Ground site, civil engineers are working on wetland delineation, historic, and endangered species studies. City water/sewer study is also underway.  They want to have traffic engineers on board by start of school. 

  • HMFH Architects will have update on the pros and cons of both sites at 8/14/23 school board meeting. There will also be some updates to geothermal and wells for existing site.  (No public comment at that time.)

  • They announced that the partnership with the YMCA is officially off the table. 

  • Traffic studies will be updated for both sites.

  • The site selection will take place at the November capital facilities meeting.

  • Vote by the full school board will take place at the November school board meeting.

  • The new middle school opening is now planned for August 2028.

  • Time for community conversations built into schedule including Sept 26th 6pm public hearing in person at Mill Brook School and virtual Sept 27th public hearing 5:30pm details here, HMFH Architects will include schedule detail for opportunities for community discussion. 

OUR APPROACH

Concord Greenspace is not currently taking a stance for or against either of these middle school site locations.  At present, we see our role as threefold:  

  1. Holding the school board accountable for thoroughly evaluating both sites;

  2. Assessing the options and identifying ways to mitigate any disadvantages of the chosen site; and

  3. Facilitating opportunities for all voices to be heard.  

 

We feel the community's deep understanding and discussion of the pros and cons of each site is critical to the decision making process.  

To that end, we are gathering community feedback to present to the School Board:  

  • On July 22nd, we held a "Walk & Talk" from Broken Ground to Regency Arms Apartments to explore what the walk would be like for middle schoolers who live within the 1.5 mile radius walk zone.  What was clear to all who participated was that one misstep by a student from the sidewalk onto East Side Drive would likely result in tragedy.  If the community is in favor of the Broken Ground site, the walking routes will need to be critically examined and the necessary changes made to keep students safe.

  • On August 16th, we hosted a community Middle School Site Listening Session that was attended by School District staff including the Superintendent as well as School Board Members.  See notes here.

  • We have a Community Feedback Form on our website for your feedback on the pros and cons of the two middle school sites.  Provide your input here or email the School Board directly at concordinfo@sau8.org.

 

Don't forget to subscribe to our blog for updates.

Background

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.

On July 10th, 2023, after months of exploring potential sites for a new middle school, the Concord School District presented two locations to the School Board for discussion.  The sites include:

 

  1. On the current grounds of the existing Rundlett Middle School, which has a 20-acre area available for the construction of a new school building; and

  2. On a 56-acre parcel of raw land on South Curtisville Road, near Broken Ground School and Mill Brook School.  

SEE CURRENT SITUATION ABOVE!

Equitable Financial Solutions

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.

Check out the Community Page here

And chime in using the Middle School Site Pros & Cons Feedback Form here!

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RECENT UPDATES

Rebuild @ Rundlett

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