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Middle School Rebuild
Community Page

This community page is shared with the Concord School District & School Board.  Feel free to include your comments, questions or concerns using the Middle School Rebuild Feedback form.  

8/16 Middle School Listening Session Notes

Community Walk & Talk

On July 21st 2023, Concord Greenspace hosted a community "Walk & Talk" from Broken Ground School to Arnie's Restaurant, exploring the 1.5 mile middle school walk-zone.  The purpose of the Walk & Talk was to step into the shoes of middle schoolers who would be required to walk from their homes on the Heights to the potential Broken Ground Middle School location.  We were joined by fellow community members, School Board members Cara Meeker & Sarah Robinson, and District staff Jack Dunn. 


The resounding feedback from community members  was that the walk presents clear safety concerns for student pedestrians including:

  • High vehicle speeds on Eastside Drive with low margin of error for pedestrians,

  • Dangerous interstate crossing on the 393 overpass,

  • Narrowing sidewalks as Eastside Drive gets closer to the busy commercial area along Loudon Rd. 

  • Multiple crossings on busy intersections on Eastside Drive and Loudon Rd.

  • All of the above made worse by winter conditions.

The number one take away was that changes would need to be made to the current transportation policy including providing buses to children on the Heights to ensure child safety if the Middle School is relocated to the Broken Ground site.



At the Part 1 workshop, participants ranked their priorities for the Middle School Rebuild.  At Part 2, we broke those priorities down by asking "what is the most important aspect of this priority to you?".  View the full list of participant responses here (6 pages!) and/or the summarized lists below!


Time to VOTE!


As promised, we summarized responses into abbreviated lists below for you to rank here!

Which of the following options is your TOP priority for the Middle School Rebuild?

Thanks for sharing your feedback with us!


Part 1



At Part 1, participants ranked their priorities for the Middle School rebuild.  At Part 2, we broke those priorities down (see above).  




Safety & Security



Educational Opportunities







Health & Well Being


Tech Integration


Environmental Factors




At the workshop we asked community members to fill out notecards with their questions on the Middle School Project.  Here's the feedback we received from both the workshop and our community feedback form. On 11/16 we hope to answer many of these questions. 

INCLUDE YOUR QUESTIONS HERE(We'll update the lists on Fridays.)

  • What is the back up plan if Rundlett becomes inaccessible/ condemned?

  • How is the community being integrated into the District experience?

  • How will the school bring together safety/environment?

  • What is the District’s lawsuit liability/insurance coverage?

  • Should we have 1 or 2 schools (think about optimal school size)?

  • How will education philosophy drive social-emotional health and wellness in development of the new building? Physical properties?

  • How will we ensure the new building will meet future needs of the community?

  • Could the elementary schools be expanded for the middle schooler rather than sending all middle schoolers to one school?

  • Is it sustainable/effective for teachers to be jack-of-all-subjects? (from Station 1)

  • Can Concord support multiple smaller schools?

  • If the research shows significant positive outcomes with keeping k-8 together in one school can the clusters be designed to support that type of experience? Continuing the elementary experience by “clusters” or “houses” in the middle school?  Would that lead to socioeconomic/racial segregation? Have the elementary school communities weighed in on this idea?

  • Why does the School Board keep looking for undeveloped areas to build?

  • Why does the District think having a YMCA next to the middle school is a good idea? Wouldn’t it pose an extraordinary child safety issue? Parking issues? I’d love to see the pros and cons list the District came up with when discussing this idea.

  • How much communication/coordination is happening with the City regarding the timing of the I-93 expansion? I imagine if these two projects happen at the same time, there could be some transportation issues, regardless of where the school is ultimately located.

  • What would become of the Rundlett middle school land in the future if they do not keep it as a middle school? Is there community weigh-in on this issue?

  • What will the experience be like for students attending Rundlett during the rebuild if it's at this site? Where will they play and hang out outside? Where will they do outside athletics?  Can something innovative be done to create outside spaces that support their developmental journey?  

  • Can we do something like the Durham middle school that incorporates indigenous culture and acknowledges and appreciates the roots of the land?

  • Is there something we can do with the design of the school to make it more welcoming and supportive of new Americans?

  • Why is the coalition changing their stance on Rebuild at Rundlett? I feel like there was a strong community backing to keeping the middle school where it is. I went to a meeting this summer and dozens of neighbors got up and spoke out, saying they wanted the middle school to stay where it is. So my question is, moving forward, is that out of the question completely? Are these other neighbor’s concerns and wishes even being listened to? (Thanks for your feedback! Here's our FAQ on Changing Course")

  • Can the YMCA be built on the east side to better spread out community resources across our City?

  • But is all the talk about affordable housing, additional complexes/units being built in Concord even being considered? Or rebuilding the middle school to accommodate the potential for many more families coming to Concord?




At the workshop, we asked community members to fill out notecards with any feedback on the Middle School Project.  Here's the feedback we received from both the workshop and our community feedback form. 


  • I support an option which enables and encourages kids to walk and bike to school, and which is both practical and sustainable in design.

  • I strongly feel we need a district-wide school on the other side of Concord from the high school. I think providing easier access to the growing population in Concord Heights and East Concord, and thereby getting people from other parts of the city to invest time and energy in that section of the city, can only have long-term benefits for our whole community.

  • I support building a new middle school at the current Rundlett School site. Please provide my opinion to school officials.

  • I would be opposed to rebuilding Rundlett on the Broken Ground conservation site. Let us not lose sight of the reasons we agree Rundlett will serve the community and children best in its current location.

  • The existing area where Rundlett is located is the right place to rebuild.  The neighborhood is adapted to it.  If rebuilding at Rundlett temporarily requires more space, you can find it. The City of Concord does not NEED any more sprawl onto its green spaces, including Martin Field.

  • I am glad that the district is making the renovation/rebuilding of the middle school a priority. I am encouraged by the number of opportunities the district has already provided to the public to learn about the project and share ideas and concerns. But I also think that independent groups like this are an important way to encourage as many people as possible to join the conversation and I am happy to see that school district representatives are taking part in these discussions. This process should really be in the spirit of partnership.

  • My main concern is location!  I’m also concerned that the school board is not taking community input into consideration. I understand they can make decisions on their own. But I truly hope they listen to the parents, whom these decisions will affect!

  • I am concerned that rebuilding at the Rundlett site is not in the best interests of the students and staff. The noise pollution, air pollution, and the loss of outdoor space are just a few of the reasons I disagree with attempting a rebuild on the current site. I also believe that middle school is a unique time that deserves both emotional and physical ""breathing space."" The South End location seems very cramped with the elementary school right there. I also feel quite strongly that rebuilding at a new location, ideally across the river, could create a greater sense of connection between the different sections of the city. 

  • Rundlett is in terrible condition and a new middle school needs to be built as soon as possible. Middle school students need lots of light, lots of bright and welcoming spaces for small group work. They need appropriate features that encourage physical activity and play for big kids like ropes courses and climbing walls. They need a building design that supports the curricular effort to differentiate the grade level experiences. They need spaces that support a wide range of academic and artistic interests.

  • I am concerned that too much argument or discussion about this will slow down the project.  Fixing this school for this age group is so overdue. It's going to cost a lot and I think that's okay.

  • I do not think having the YMCA right there on campus would help students.  A change of scenery is helpful.  The "Y" already has a big summer camp at Abbott Downing School, so some kids are already on the Abbott Downing/Rundlett campus year round. I don't think adding more hours there would be best for the students.
    It might be nice to go downtown to the "Y" for a few hours.

  • Wherever the middle school is built, I hope that athletics are strongly considered. There is not enough space at the current middle school for all of teams to practice and for theater to occur and other events. It causes a constant frustration between everyone to figure out who is using the space when and making sure that teams have enough practice time. I hope that this is considered when designing the new school because sports/clubs are very important to our students in the district.




Check out the research/case studies we reviewed together at the 10/26 Community Workshop:


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