We are voting YES for the new Middle School on Jan.19 because we believe in Concord schools and our educators and our children.
Planned via a transparent process, this school was designed to meet the Education Plan approved by the School Committee. It will also be net-zero energy ready, with a full-sized gym and auditorium – all elements added by citizens (approved by vote). This is why the February 2022 vote to approve $102.8M was a landslide. Unfortunately, unprecedented inflation has driven construction costs 7% over this amount.
To help taxpayers, $4M+ in cuts were made by the Building Committee. Even so, (up to) $7.2M is still needed to allow construction to commence and the school to open on-schedule. Regarding taxes, this equates to $73/year/median household, or $6/mo. There is a $5M tax assistance fund in place, in addition to a tax abatement program for those who qualify.
Delaying the project further will only increase our tax burden, as costs keep rising, which is why the Finance Committee voted overwhelmingly for “affirmative action” regarding this vote. If it fails, we will incur $5M in fees, 6-9 months of delay and have to cut $11M more from the design, including the community-use elements, while construction costs continue to escalate. Meanwhile, simply maintaining the current dilapidated middle school building(s) is $40M – $60M over 10 years!
On the high school project, key elements were left unfinished, including playing fields! This short-term approach has led to a decade of costs far-exceeding what it would have been to include them initially. We should not repeat these mistakes.
For these reasons, we will vote YES and built a website at www.VoteYesMiddleSchool.com to explain further. Town Meeting voting is in-person, so please come to CCHS Jan. 19, 7 p.m. Childcare available. The ballot vote is Feb. 16.