Talking Points for Rebuilding @ Rundlett

Thank you for joining the Rebuild@Rundlett initiative and thank you for protecting Concord’s green spaces! Here are some talking points to help you make the case to rebuild @ Rundlett.  We suggest you focus on those points that are most meaningful to you rather than trying to cover everything.

 

Top Line: Let's 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/equity in access,

  • Protect the last north/south wildlife corridor in Concord, and

  • Preserve green resources, history and character of our city. 

The existing site is 100% viable and would not slow down opening a new school!

  • It's not "too late" to rebuild the middle school at Rundlett - there are concept designs for BOTH the existing site and CenterPoint (CP) site (including cost estimates).  

  • The lead architect confirmed that the Rundlett site is 100% "viable".

  • The projected timeframe for the new middle school opening is the SAME for both sites.

  • Choosing to Rebuild@Rundlett will NOT slow down the rebuild process.  

  • The architect's concepts assume the SAME building design for both sites.  

  • There will be minimal student disruption: NONE of the existing Rundlett building needs to be touched during construction at the Rundlett site and the current gymnasium and Activity Room are positioned to buffer construction vibrations. 

  • The plan includes appropriate setbacks to abutters. 

  • The existing Rundlett site consists of TWICE as much property than previously stated to the public by the District.  The architect stated that there is plenty of room for the rebuild on the existing site, in fact, she stated "we have built on tighter sites".  

  • There is green space available on campus for students during the rebuild and Rollins Park is directly across the street.

Cost to Taxpayers

  • Costs for both projects are estimated to be roughly equivalent, but the CP plan would cost an extra 2 million dollars due to various factors. 

  • The current budget does NOT reflect the offsite infrastructure needed at the CP site.

  • Let’s build off of the track record of the three recent and successful Concord school rebuilds: Abbot Downing (ADS), Christa McAuliffe (CMS) and Mill Brook (MBS)- these similar projects came in well under budget and under bond, and on schedule. 

 

Traffic on Clinton Street

  • The CP location will significantly increase traffic on Clinton Street (the primary route for hospital traffic from the highway).   

  • The site requires the City to build a larger road, rendering it even less safe for pedestrian and bicycle travel, allowing for more development, and eventually more traffic - as well as road maintenance costs.

  • This costly development is incredibly harmful to communities, builds upon itself, and creates "dead" neighborhoods where people must use cars for everything.

  • Pollution will damage the community gardens.

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.

  • Clinton Street is a 30-mph road that was designed like a 50-mph road, encouraging speeding. 

  • 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 lock them into vehicle-based travel.

Walkability Matters

  • 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.

  • Research shows walkability improves physical and mental health, traffic safety, better air quality, enhanced personal safety, long-term cost savings, and greater student academic achievement. 

  • Locating schools close enough to children’s homes allows walking and bicycling to school and permits children to come back to school grounds to play on weekends and after school. 

  • In the 2010 a convening report on walkability as it relates to diversity and educational equity in U.S. schools it states: “Inequity can be countered by truly integrated neighborhoods with walkable schools." 

Preventing Urban Sprawl

  • The CP 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 characterizes urban sprawl and will encourage more.

Environmental Impact

  • The CP 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 CP site contains half wetland soils and half Prime Farmland soils. Once it is developed, these soils are lost.

  • Maintaining opportunities for local agriculture is beneficial to Concord residents and local agriculture uses less energy and produces fewer carbon emissions. 

  • The CP 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, which is a critical, specialized type of habitat.

  • Open land is valuable to all Concord residents. 

Let’s Rebuild@Rundlet and stay true to the City's Master Plan proposing: 

  • A vibrant, livable downtown.

  • Neighborhoods served by walkable villages.

  • Preservation and access to the natural environment.