Letter: Location of the new middle school

Published: 12-03-2023 6:00 AM

The Concord School Board will base its decision on where to locate the new middle school, in part, on the difference in costs to build at the current location on South Street or behind the Broken Ground School in East Concord. The projected difference is $5.5 million more to build at South Street. The existing school building must be demolished to build there, while it does not to build at Broken Ground. The cost to demolish the old school and remove and dispose of the hazardous waste in the building is $4.5 million. The difference in cost is reduced to $1 million when the demolition costs are removed from the calculation.

The board does not have to decide now what to do with the South Street building and land if the new middle school is built at Broken Ground, but it will have to soon. Whether the board decides to raze the building and use the land for another educational purpose or sell the property to the city or a private party, the building will have to be demolished and hazardous waste disposed of. No matter what the board decides to do with the site, the demolition costs will be borne by the city’s taxpayers. The demolition costs should not be included in calculating the cost difference for deciding which location is chosen for the new school. I urge the readers to visit concordmiddleschoolproject.org to review the cost projections in the Project Background Reports.

Jae Whitelaw

Concord

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