Letter: Middle school plans need to be downsized

February 9, 2023

Seventy percent of Concord households do not have children of age 18 or under. But ALL are now paying for three elementary schools and one high school. Paying $110,000,000 for one school is too much.

When the Middle School Building Committee learned that the 2022 Town Meeting-approved $103,000,000 would cost much more now due to inflation, members deliberately refused to make significant cuts that would make it possible to have an excellent Middle School at a reasonable cost.

Two examples are an expensive, expanded gym and a spacious auditorium. Last December, I emailed Superintendent of Schools Laurie Hunter, asking if SHE had requested these features. In her return, she stated. “No, I did not request these items. They were recommended by the “community.”

Why is Concord now being asked to respond NOT to the professional request of our school superintendent, but to expensive wishes of the “community?”

The Building Committee must return to serious review and be directed by the Select Board to present a strongly revised plan by VERY early fall for quick approval of voters.

Are you aware that the tax bill that Concord real estate owners recently received included an average of $131 (for the median priced home) for only a SMALL portion of funds already borrowed for this project? The full impact of the $103M is $1,079/year for the median price home and will not appear until next year’s bill. The question on the February 16 ballot will add an additional $74 per year for 30 years for the median priced home!

I am a Concord parent and former teacher. and I want all Concord students to have outstanding schools. In this economy, we are all having to make difficult decisions between WANTS and NEEDS in our personal lives, so, too, must we do in our public expenditures.

Dorrie Kehoe

MacArthur Road