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Concord School District Hosts 2 Meetings Concerning New Middle School

CONCORD, NH — The Concord School District is hosting public forums on Tuesday and Wednesday on where to site a new middle school.

But taxpayers and parents in the SAU 8 district, as well as school board members, should, instead, take a deep and hard look as to whether now is the right time to consider the project, which has a final cost approaching $240 million, according to the latest financial figures or instead, delay it.

One forum will be in person at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at the Mill Brook School at 53 South Curtisville Road. A second meeting will be virtual via Zoom at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27. The Zoom meeting is linked here (Meeting ID: 828 0777 4305; Passcode: 281675).

Officials and board members will discuss whether a new Rundlett Middle School should be built on its current footprint in the South End or next to Broken Ground Elementary School on the Concord Heights where the school district has access to around 95 acres. The compound for the current Broken Ground Elementary and Mill Brook Primary schools is about 36 acres.

Both sites have pluses and minuses discussed by the board and the public. Recent forums by the Concord Greenspace Coalition heard complaints about traffic and many newcomers who do not know much about the city’s history.

One new resident on Pleasant Street at a mid-August forum said the best schools were neighborhood schools. But that boat sailed a decade ago, though they would not know. They just moved here.

A listening session in mid-August. Credit: Tony Schinella/Patch

Other residents complained about traffic around Broken Ground. But a spot review of surrounding streets during non-commute and school district travel hours found little-to-no traffic immediately around the school.

Others worried about wildlife being displaced if a new school was built on the east side. But the comments ignored the fact that only a fraction of the 95 acres would be developed — while another 121 acres and other parcels sit idly by.

Admittedly, building a new middle school on the east side would be a major change.

If the district is going to build a new middle school, it should build one by maximizing its access to current holdings and selling off its remaining parcels to offset the expense. Building on the east side allows the district to sell prime real estate in the South End.

Source : Patch