Rebuild @ Rundlett

Middle School Relocation

At this time, the Concord School District has proposed 2 locations for the middle school rebuild project:

1)  Rebuild at the existing site (Rundlett), and

2) Relocate the school to the CenterPoint Church property on Clinton Street. 

 

Ideally, the middle school(s) would be located in highly walkable, central neighborhoods utilizing already developed land to increase walkability and access for as many students as possible, while protecting green space, reducing reliance on cars, and preventing urban sprawl.  

 

Of the two options proposed by the School District, the Coalition advocates for rebuilding at Rundlett.  The proposed Clinton Street location places students on a dangerous commuting corridor. This car-only plan negatively impacts walkability and opens the door for urban sprawl. Developing the CenterPoint land irreparably destroys critical green space supporting the last north/south wildlife corridor in Concord. 

Lets sustainably rebuild Rundlett onsite in order to:

  • decrease cost to taxpayers,

  • prevent increased traffic and congestion,

  • promote child safety, preserving walkability, and

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


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. Learn more.

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Rebuild @ Rundlett

A CLOSER LOOK

 
 

COST TO TAXPAYERS

We favor rebuilding Rundlett onsite based on the track record of the three recent and successful Concord school rebuilds: Abbot Downing (ADS), Christa McAuliffe (CMS) and Mill Brook (MBS).  These 2012 construction projects came in well under budget and under bond, and on schedule. All 3 projects were building/rebuilding on existing (improved) SAU8 property. 

The current budget does not reflect the infrastructure needed at the CenterPoint site which would be needed to make the site viable including traffic signals and roadway widening.   The existing site already has the infrastructure to support the school.  We do not have a clear picture of the total cost of relocation. 


Let’s build sustainably and affordably on what we have... and not destroy what we can never get back!
 

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CHILD SAFETY

Clinton Street is already one of the worst roads in Concord and has more than double the number of cars per day of South Street. It is a 30-mph road that was designed like a 50-mph road, encouraging speeding.  South Street and Clinton Street have the same speed limit but due its setting Clinton drivers go much faster.

High travel speeds, a lack of pedestrian and bicycle facilities make this location entirely unsafe for students to travel by foot or bicycle. We need to find more ways to incorporate physical activity into the everyday experiences of children, not locking them into vehicle-based travel.

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School Kids

WHY WALKABILITY COUNTS

With childhood obesity at an all-time high, many health advocates are calling for greater access to walkable schools as an important element of a comprehensive approach for addressing this epidemic. Children who can safely walk or bicycle to and from school can build physical activity into their daily routine.  Locating schools close enough to children’s homes allow walking and bicycling to school and permits children to come back to school grounds to play on weekends and after school. Research shows walkability improves traffic safety, better air quality, enhanced personal safety, long-term cost savings, and greater student academic achievement. 

In the 2010 convening report by Safe Routes Partnerships and ChangeLab Solutions on walkability as it relates to diversity and educational equity in U.S. schools it states: "Residential isolation has helped maintain, if not increase, wide gaps in academic achievement between schools serving children from lower-income families and schools in more affluent neighborhoods. Such inequity, it is argued, could be countered by truly integrated neighborhoods with walkable schools." 

While the middle school draws students from all over the City of Concord, being located in a walkable neighborhood allows as many students as possible to walk or ride to school.

URBAN SPRAWL - PRESERVING THE HISTORY & CHARACTER OF OUR CITY

The current South End location is situated in a neighborhood with many small, intersecting streets. This is called a "traditional" development pattern and it is what characterizes much of Concord's thriving neighborhoods.

 

In contrast, the CenterPoint location has only one access - Clinton Street. There are no parallel streets and the nearest intersecting streets have no near parallel streets, either. This type of development is described as a "conventional" development pattern, and it characterizes urban sprawl and will encourage more. 

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PROTECTING GREEN SPACE &THE LAST WILDLIFE CORRIDOR

The Centerpoint land provides critical support for the last north/south wildlife corridor in Concord - connecting the White Farm area with the Russell-Shea and Cilley State Forests and the Turkey River. Animals need such corridors to exist in developed areas. 

The CenterPoint site contains half wetland soils and half Prime Farmland soils (with rich soils from the Merrimack River floodplain). Once it is developed, it is lost. Maintaining opportunities for local agriculture is beneficial to Concord residents and local agriculture uses less energy and produces fewer carbon emissions. 

The Centerpoint land is important habitat for field-nesting birds that are declining in the state. There is a vernal pool at the edge of the field this critical, specialized type of habitat that is flooded only in the spring, allowing Spring Peepers, Wood Frogs and Spotted Salamanders to breed without fish that would prey on the eggs and young. 

 

Open land is valuable to all Concord residents. Learn more about Concord's commitment to conservation.

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REBUILD @ RUNDLETT

In summary, the school district will be creating lasting harm to the City of Concord and to the well-being of Rundlett students with this relocation. We are in favor of rebuilding Rundlett on its current site. 

Let's stay true to the City's Master Plan (Vision 20/20) proposing: 

  • A vibrant, livable downtown.

  • Neighborhoods served by walkable villages.

  • Preservation and access to the natural environment.

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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.

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