Frequently Asked Questions

Fundamental Questions

Why do we need a new middle school building?

The existing middle school building systems are beyond their useful life requiring frequent maintenance. The building floor plans reflect teaching methodologies from the year of their construction and do not allow the Middle School staff to fully realize Team Teaching. Special Education and Maker Spaces (a space typical in Middle and High Schools today) are in “found” rooms that hamper their use. The new, single middle school building will provide an environment where 21st century learning and team teaching can be offered to grade levels 6-8 under one roof.

What is the current project status? Where are we now?

The Building Committee and Design Team have completed the Feasibility phase of the project and are nearing completion of the Schematic Design phase. During the Feasibility phase, the scope, cost and schedule for Schematic Design were laid out through the Educational Plan (authored by the School Department), the Space Summary (a list of spaces required to provide the educational delivery outlined in the Educational Plan, Course Offerings and Scheduling/Enrollment), and conceptual site and building plans.

After hearing significant feedback from the community on the initial Space Summary, the committee approved a revised Space Summary on May 6, 2020 that includes a larger gym and auditorium than initially recommended (the revised space summary accounts for a gym with one MIAA basketball main court with two 74’ long cross-courts, and a 420-seat auditorium). The revised Space Summary also removed the dedicated spaces for Alternate PE and Maker Space, understanding that the functions be accommodated in other planned spaces.

The approved Space Summary allowed us to move into the Schematic Design phase of the project, which further refines the site and building concepts in order to arrive at a final scope for the project as well as an estimated project cost. At the conclusion of Schematic Design, the project with total scope and cost will be brought to a Special Town Meeting and a town-wide election for approval by voters.

You can see the latest developments at any time at

Why are we not participating in the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Process?

Concord Public Schools submitted a Statement of Interest (SOI) to the MSBA 4 consecutive years (2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020) and has not been offered a place in the program. An analysis was performed by the School Department to understand “the cost of waiting.” Due to the Town’s estimated low reimbursement rate that would result in a relatively low MSBA grant participation, and the rising cost of construction and the unknown year in which Concord might be admitted to the program, it was determined it would be less costly to start the project now without the MSBA funding than wait.

[Note: Past responses from the MSBA acknowledged the need for the Middle School project but other applicants were determined to have a greater need. As such, there were insufficient funds available to include Concord Middle School in the grant program. Also, Concord has received MSBA grant funds for three (3) prior projects].

People and Process

Who is on the Concord Middle School Building Committee (CMSBC)?

The CMSBC is comprised of Town staff and community members that have experience in the building industry, education, Town contracts and finance or prior capital projects. The CMSBC make-up follows the MSBA Building Committee composition requirements (click here for the MSBA list and here for the Building Committee Member list and Design Team information).

How was the Concord Middle School Building Committee formed?

Members of the CMSBC are appointed by the Select Board.

What are the sub-committee roles/charges?

The subcommittees that have been active during the Feasibility Study are the Sustainability Subcommittee, Design Subcommittee and Communications Subcommittee. A Finance Subcommittee is also established but it has not had a recent need to meet. Each subcommittee’s charge is to focus on their subject matter (Sustainability, Design, Communications and Finance) and to make recommendations to the larger Building Committee after their in depth exploration and deliberations.

Who is the Owner's Project Manager and what is their job?

M.G.L. c 149, §44A ½ requires public awarding authorities to engage the services on an Owner's Project Manager on all building projects estimated to cost $1.5 million or more. The Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) selected for the Middle School is Hill International. The OPM is responsible for providing advice and consultation with respect to design, value engineering, scope of the work, ensuring the preparation of time schedules which shall serve as control standards for monitoring performance of the building project, and construction oversight among other responsibilities.

Who is on the Design Team?

After a public, competitive qualifications based selection process, SMMA with their subconsultant team was selected as design team for the project. The design team is comprised of many subconsultants with expertise in various aspects of design and construction however, some of the lead subconsultants include EwingCole as designer, Nitsch for Civil Engineer and permitting, Steven Winter Associates for passive house consultancy.

How were the Owner's Project Manager (OPM) and Designer selected?

Both are selected through a public, competitive, qualifications based selection process led by the School Building Committee.

What factors were considered in deciding whether to seek an addition/renovation or new construction?

When evaluating an addition/renovation versus new construction approach, the following factors are part of the consideration set:

  • Condition and quality of the existing building and systems

  • Feasibility of providing an addition to the existing building

  • Construction Schedule and Impacts to Students (can the work be performed as an occupied renovation or is swing space required?)

  • Cost of construction

  • Ability of the addition/renovation to support the educational programs and adjacencies required to meet the school’s Ed Plan

A detailed Facilities Study was performed by Finegold Alexander in 2017 and can be accessed here.

What is the physical status of Concord's other schools?

All other school buildings in Concord have been replaced or renovated since 2004 and will require only regular and proactive maintenance. This will be Concord’s last new school building for the foreseeable future.

What is the scope of the proposed project?

The scope of the proposed project includes educational and ancillary spaces that support the Concord Middle School Ed Plan with an estimated program area of 143,510 square-feet (gross), one baseball, one softball and one soccer field, parking, bus drop off, walks and drives, netzero-ready building systems, and a septic system. This scope will meet the Ed Plan requirements and includes the Community-requested larger gym and larger auditorium.

Where will the new Concord Middle School be located?

The new Middle School will be located southwest of the existing Sanborn Middle School building, in the approximate location of the existing baseball field. It will be constructed, with safety and security measures in place, while the Sanborn School continues operations. At the completion of its construction, the students will occupy the new school while the Sanborn building is demolished and replaced with the athletic fields.

How will the construction process affect students' learning environment?

The construction area will be designated and fenced off. All construction workers and traffic will be kept within the limits of the fenced construction site. Workers will be required to complete a background check and will not be granted access to the site without being cleared. The contractor will endeavour to limit the noisiest operations to days and hours when the school is in session, but there will be noise from construction activities. Vibrations from soil compaction will also occur as needed and will attempt to be scheduled to limit disruption. Utility work and any interruptions will be carefully coordinated and scheduled so as to not cause impacts to the school operations. SMMA has experience with Schools turning the construction process into a learning opportunity for their students.

I have no children who attend Concord Public Schools. How will this project benefit me and the community?

The new school with its energy efficiencies, consolidation of two buildings, and added sub-separate special education programs is expected to reduce operational costs from what they are today. New school buildings frequently attract more young families to the community and increase property values. The building will also be available for community use.

Existing Building(s) and Site(s)

What are the major deficiencies of the current middle school?

This information can be found in the Facilities Study performed by Finegold Alexander in 2017. The report can be accessed here..

What current codes and educational standards are not met by the current middle school?

This information can be found in the Facilities Study performed by Finegold Alexander in 2017. The report can be accessed here..

What happens to the middle school students while the new school is being built?

The Peabody Middle School will continue to operate as it does today. The Sanborn School students will continue to go to school in the existing building while the new school is being constructed also. The existing Sanborn fields will not be usable while the new school is being built and until the existing school is demolished and new fields are completed.

What will happen to the existing Sanborn and Peabody facilities?

The Peabody School and property will be turned over to the Town. The Town has not yet decided or planned what they will do with the Peabody property. The existing Sanborn building will be demolished and the property will continue as a school property for the new Middle School. The current Feasibility Study concept has programmed the existing school’s site to largely consist of athletic fields.

Are there any wetlands on the property?

There are wetlands on the property. At this time, and based on coordination with the Town departments, boards and staff, the project team does not foresee a need for the project to file a Notice of Intent because all of the construction will take place outside of the wetlands buffer.

Educational Plan and Enrollment

What is Team Teaching? How can the building design support Team Teaching? How does this affect the size of the building?

For information on Team Teaching, please refer to the Concord Middle School project Education Plan linked here.

The building will support the Team Teaching approach by providing classroom neighborhoods consisting of on-team, core classrooms for English, Social Studies, Math and Science for each of the three planned grade level teams.

The team teaching approach results in a need for more core classrooms (more building square footage) than a Junior High model would require due to the fact that those core classrooms are dedicated to that team and that grade level. In a Junior High teaching model, classrooms are not team or necessarily grade-level specific. Both the students and the teachers move and mix based on course schedules.

What is the current enrollment at Concord Middle School?

The current enrollment is 680 students across all three grades 6-8.

What are the future enrollment projections that are being or will be used to plan the Middle School project to ensure it meets protected future needs?

The School Department receives updated enrollment projections from the New England School Development Council (NESDEC) annually. The annual updates are typically received in the Fall of each year. The School Department and project team reviewed the 2019 and 2020 NESDEC Enrollment Projections to arrive at a recommended target enrollment. The analysis included consideration given to students currently enrolled in private schools that might return to the public schools after the new school is built, as well as any known property development. The recommendation is to build for a target 700 students across grades 6-8.

Should we be concerned that we will outgrow this new building in the near term?

Based on the current enrollment (approx. 680), the projected enrollment (approx. 650), and the design enrollment (700), the School Department does not anticipate outgrowing the building in the near future. In addition to the overall enrollment buffer, integral to the Team teaching design is flexibility of spaces which can be used to manage growth over time.

How will a new Concord Middle School facility improve the programs that are offered to the 6-8 students? Will it allow new programs to be offered in the future?

The new school building will enable interdisciplinary learning. The core team model provides a smaller supportive environment for children's academic and social emotional development. The building design will co-locate the four (4) core on-team classrooms (English, Social Studies, Math, Science) around a team commons. The Art, Music, and Technology Spaces will be fit-out and designed for the curriculum offered rather than retro-fit into typical classrooms and spare rooms as they are today.

The building will be designed for flexibility to enable support of additional programmatic enhancements in the future.

For more information, please refer to the Concord Middle School project Education Plan for program descriptions.

Has the current CMS staff been involved in the building design process?

The current Middle School staff have been highly involved in the building design process and will continue to be involved. Early in the process, the staff participated in programming interviews and participated in the writing of the Education Plan. The design team went back to the staff to discuss the space summary after its initial development, obtained feedback and asked questions. The staff receive routine updates from the administration as part of their staff meetings, and the design team will be scheduling another round of interviews with staff during the Schematic Design phase and subsequent Design Development phase---each time with an increasing level of detail being discussed and input solicited.

Programming and Design

Do features of the new building proposal meet MAAB/ADA requirements?

Yes, the building design will be fully MAAB and ADA compliant. Additionally, the team is in early conversations with the Institute for Human Centered Design to discuss Universal and Inclusive Design for the new school.

What considerations go into whether an auditorium should be provided or not and what its size should be? Who decides how big the auditorium will be?

The typical MSBA space summary and guidelines for Middle Schools does not include an Auditorium. Due to the demonstrated use of the existing and continued planned use for the future auditorium, the project team is recommending to include an auditorium in the new school project. The stage for any auditorium size is typically 1,600 nsf, and stage storage is included. The size of the auditorium is therefore, primarily driven by the number of seats planned.

The Building Committee has approved a Space Summary with a 420-seat auditorium. This will support the same capacity as the current Sanborn auditorium, which has 350 fixed seats and room for 70 additional movable chairs.

Information gathered during the Feasibility Study process relative to the Auditorium sizing:

Through interviews the design team had with the Music Department and Performing Arts leaders, the greatest number of students anticipated in the seating area for the academic programs was noted as 200 students based on the band or orchestra sitting in the audience while the band/orchestra performed. As such, 200 seats would fulfill the Ed Plan requirements.

Other data points and considerations:

  • The existing Sanborn auditorium seats 350 in fixed seating (with space for set-up of 70 additional chairs) and the Peabody Forum seats 150.

  • The musical performances draw the largest audience and sell out all 420 seats for each night offered.

  • One grade level plus staff is estimated at 270.

  • Two grade levels do not meet.

  • All-school assemblies will be held in the gymnasium.

  • Large Middle School performances currently use and are able to continue use of the CCHS auditorium.

If this project were a 700-student MSBA program High School where an auditorium would be typical, the size of the auditorium would be 4,667 nsf. This is the equivalent of 467 seats when applying the MSBA sizing allowance for “2/3 Enrollment @ 10 SF/Seat - 750 seats MAX.” All-grade, total enrollment auditoria are not supported by the MSBA and are not typical.

Another resource is the MSBA study of Assembly Space Adjacencies in Elementary and Middle Schools performed in 2016 (here). This study describes how the platform and assembly functions can be fulfilled in Elementary and Middle Schools without an auditorium.

What considerations go into sizing a gymnasium? Who decides how big the gymnasium will be?

For a typical MSBA middle school, the MSBA Guidelines form the basis of sizing. Through educational programming, additional considerations that go into sizing a gymnasium include:

  • School enrollment and class scheduling:

The school design enrollment and scheduling are the primary drivers to the size of the gymnasium as those factors inform the number of teaching stations required. One teaching station in a gym is considered one half of a single 6,000 nsf gym; one 6,000 nsf gym is considered two teaching stations. A divider curtain is used to create the two spaces.

[Based on the CMS design enrollment and scheduling, two teaching stations are required for the school’s Physical Education programs.]

  • Program Needs:

Alternate PE space may be added if there are program needs such as to serve the special education program for physical therapy, or there are alternative PE activities not available in a gymnasium. e.g. cardio equipment, yoga, dance etc..

[The CMS Educational Plan and Physical Therapy program support including an Alternate PE space in the program. Per the decision of the Building Committee in their May 6 meeting, the Alternate PE space is not included as a dedicated room. The School Department and design team will look for alternative ways to accommodate these activities in other planned spaces. ]

  • Spectator needs or requirements:

The MSBA assumes no spectators or would anticipate a smaller than MIAA court size. If spectator space is desired, the MSBA might allow for the increased area but would not include that additional area as reimbursable.

[The CMS athletics department and community needs support a single MIAA main court and spectator seating for 100-150 persons].

The decision on how big the gymnasium will be is a School Building Committee decision informed by input from the School Department and Design Team.

On May 6, 2020, the Building Committee approved a Space Summary with a gym to include one MIAA basketball main court and two 74’ long cross-courts.

How will the septic system be configured to accommodate the new middle school building?

The septic system will be designed in accordance with all applicable regulations and through coordination with the Town of Concord DPW and Board of Health.

Are there any new differences between designing a facility pre-pandemic and designing a facility post pandemic?

There are no new regulations or requirements that have been put in place in response to the pandemic. The design conversations that have emerged in response to COVID primarily focus on air filtration (MERV filter type) and fresh air (operable windows and amount of fresh air supply). These are conversations that we will begin to have with the Committee(s) and Facilities Maintenance staff in Schematic Design and Design Development.

Does the current plan have bells and whistles?

The current plan does not have bells and whistles. The building material assumptions are durable and easy to maintain but low cost and simple.

If approved, what will the new Concord Middle School like like?

The current concept anticipates a three-story building. Design concepts and other information can be found on the project website:

Will Special Education and the needs for ALL students be considered in the building design?

Yes, please refer to the Concord Middle School project Education Plan for details on the Special Education program descriptions.


How "sutainable/energy efficient" will the new building be? Will the design be certified by any sustainable rating system (LEED for schools/NE CHPS for Schools?)

The Concord Middle School project will including the following:

  • A Net Zero Ready school, with a predicted EUI (pEUI) target of 25 or better

    • Robust and airtight highly insulated building enclosure

    • High efficiency electrical and lighting systems, including all-electric kitchen and plug load management.

    • High efficiency all electric heating and cooling HVAC systems

  • 100% PV readiness target: PV ready for roof mounted PV array and parking canopy, including structural and electrical systems readiness.

  • Energy Storage (batteries) readiness.

  • Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Building Enclosure Commissioning, including a Whole Building Air Infiltration Testing

  • LEEDv4 Silver Certifiable, including tracking of sustainable design/LEED attributes during design and construction. The Town elected to not pursue full certification in order to focus our resource on achieving Net Zero Energy Ready.

Are Passive House principles being considered?

Yes. A Passive House (PH) accredited Design Professional is part of the Design Team. The Ewing Cole/SMMA team was one of only two Design Teams that included a Certified Passive House Consultant in their submission in response to our Designer RFP. The Passive House principles inform the Net Zero Energy design for a highly insulated and airtight building enclosure as well as all related indoor air quality and thermal comfort PH principles. The project will not seek Passive House certification.

Are healthy building products being considered?

Yes. The project will be applying LEEDv4 Silver criteria for building and site products and systems:

  • Recycled content

  • FSC wood (95% goal)

  • Regional Materials (as much as applicable for New England)

  • Low emitting materials and finishes for ceilings, flooring, paints, adhesives, sealants, coatings

  • Construction waste management

  • IAQ practices during construction for air quality and protection of materials on site

The building committee has also adopted a target metric of installing 20 building products that have a high impact on indoor environmental quality that provide full materials transparency and are Red List free.

Are solar photovoltaic panels in the project and the budget?

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are not included in the building project budget. The building is being designed to be solar and storage “ready” meaning the building’s orientation will be optimized for solar and the electrical systems will be ready for solar and a battery. While solar PV is not part of the building project, the Town is committed to Net Zero Energy with solar PV and is working with the CMLP to develop a Zero Energy Building strategy that will include CMLP taking the lead on designing and installing solar PV on the new CMS.

What is an EUI and what is the project targeting?

EUI: Energy Use Intensity. Unit of energy per year per SF (kBtu/SF/yr.) used to compare building facilities’ energy usage. The electrical energy usage (kWh) is converted in kBtu (British Thermal Units).

pEUI: Predicted EUI. The pEUI metric is used during design where the building design is simulated through energy modeling to predict the energy usage of the facility.

The project is targeting an EUI of 25 or better. The lower the EUI is, the more energy efficient is the building. For context, the EUI of the existing Sanborn school is about 135.

Does this project align with the Town of Concord's climate mitigation goals?

Yes. At the 2017 Annual Town Meeting we approved a community-wide target of 80% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2050. The middle school is being designed to minimize GHG emissions with a goal of net zero ready. The first step of a net zero ready design is minimizing the energy loads of the building. The project also plans to be all-electric so that as Concord continues to decarbonize our grid, the operational carbon emissions for the building will go down. The sustainability goals for the project also include healthy indoor air quality, low embodied carbon, ultra-energy efficient, and optimized for solar PV.

Is focusing on Net Zero Energy Ready a good use of resources given all the competing demands for this project?

In addition to the Net Zero Energy (NZE) Ready goal, the CMS project has committed to an energy efficiency target known as the Energy Zero Code (E-Z Code), a proposed code developed through a consensus process by experts across the construction industry in Massachusetts. The E-Z Code has not been adopted by the MA Board of Building Regulations and Standards, but in March of 2021, Governor Baker signed a Climate Bill that includes a provision to create a net zero stretch code for Green Communities. The expectation is that within roughly 18 months, a net zero stretch code will be available in MA. We do not want to build one of the last projects under a soon to be old energy code.

Also, NZE is cost-effective. An initial feasibility cost estimate found that the energy efficient measures necessary to achieve the NZE Ready goal totaled just under $1M, or roughly 1% of the total project cost. This cost estimate is now out of alignment with the current design, but its finding of a 1% premium is in line with our expectations, as well as the findings of other projects ( Furthermore, a preliminary analysis by SMMA found that this investment yielded a less than 10-year payback.

The project has set a prudent target that is fiscally responsible and delivers a wide range of valuable benefits to the building occupants, the School District, and the greater community. The energy efficiency details that support the NZE Ready goal also provide a positive impact on indoor air quality, thermal comfort, building resiliency, and building durability.

Why does the design not include Geothermal Heating?

A geothermal system (ground source heat pumps - GSHP) was considered for the project but it was discounted for two reasons:

1. First, the best potential location for a geothermal field is in the area of the existing school, which will not become available until after the new school is built and required to be operational, creating a significant scheduling hurdle to incorporating the technology.

2. Second, the incremental upfront capital cost for a geothermal system would be a challenge for the current project budget.

This project is putting a heavy focus on ensuring a high-performance building enclosure, therefore reducing the benefit of a higher efficiency mechanical system because there is less load to serve. The incremental benefit of the GSHP system is only 0.3 kBtu/SF/yr. over the current design of a VRF - Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) system, while the carbon emissions reduction is 0.7%/yr when compared to ASHP.

Additionally, the payback is approximately 38 years for the GSHP vs. 9.6 years for the VRF/ASHP. The incremental EUI benefit does not justify the significant cost difference at 2.5% higher than the VRF/ASHP.

Cost and Schedule

What is the project budget?

The committee has approved a target project cost of $100 million. The Schematic Design cost estimate will be available in November of 2021.

Project Budget development history: A range of $80-100 million was included in the Designer Request for Qualifications and has been the range that the project team has been working to adhere to. The source of this range was providing +/- $10 million around the $90 million total project cost estimate assuming a Feasibility Study in 2019 that was presented with Article 14 at the 2019 Annual Town Meeting. The Article 14 slides included escalation that projected the budget at approximately $95-$105 million if the Feasibility Study were to take place in 2021.

What is the estimated cost per square foot of the new building, particularly as this number compares to other new middle school building projects?

The estimated cost per square-foot for the building is currently estimated and budgeted at $348/sf. The OPM performed a cost comparison using MSBA cost data available on their website (here) and determined that $348/sf is in alignment (median) with projects reviewed. The table noting comparable projects can be found in several presentations made for the project including the presentation to the CMSBC on March 18, 2021 that can be found here.

When will the town vote on funding the Middle School Building Project?

The Special Town Meeting to request funding for the Middle School Building project (Design Development through Construction completion) will take place on January 20, 2022; and the Town Election will take place on February 3, 2022.

The funding request put forward to the Town will be based on the scope defined in the Schematic Design submission and its construction and project cost estimate.

Who has paid for the work that has gone into the project to date?

The funding for the Feasibility Study and subsequent Schematic Design phase was approved at the 2019 Town Meeting in the amount of $1.5 million (Article 14).

[The prior study performed by Finegold Alexander in 2017 was funded through a prior Town Meeting Article.]

What are some unique factors of the CMS Project that impact the overall cost of the Project?

The overall cost of a project is typically most greatly affected by space / square-footage, unless the project has higher than typical building material and finish or sustainability goals.

The Team Teaching Model requires more space than a Junior High teaching model. Team teaching is, however, not unique to Concord. Many other schools practice team teaching due its extensive educational and social emotional benefits. Additionally, it is atypical for Middle Schools to include an auditorium. Inclusion of the auditorium in lieu of a cafetorium increases costs. Also, the septic system and nearby well result in unique costs to the project that not all projects have.

Based on a visual assessment of materials and finishes in Concord’s public schools, which do not boast high-end selections, typical finishes are assumed for the Middle School. Therefore, materials and finishes are not considered a cost driver. Also, net-zero ready building engineering systems and high performing building envelopes (walls, slab,and roof assemblies) are becoming common practice, so they no longer carry with them the premium that they may have at one time.

How does the cost of this school compare to other middle schools in the area?

The MSBA tracks cost data and publishes it on their website (here). The chart showing the comparison MSBA projects, most of which are Middle Schools, can be found in several presentations made for the project including the presentation to the CMSBC on March 18, 2021 which can be found here.

How is the project being funded?

The Concord Middle School, like all very large capital projects, will be funded by a debt exclusion that will be paid as part of property tax bills.

What is the debt exclusion?

A debt exclusion (Ch. 59 Sec. 21C(j)) raises additional tax revenue to pay debt service costs to finance a capital project, or sometimes to fund a major capital purchase. The excluded amount, or additional tax, is not specified in the referendum language, but need not equal the anticipated annual debt service obligation in its entirety. A limit on the amount to be raised is initially set in the bond authorization which actually funds the capital project or purchase. It requires a two-thirds vote of town meeting. The additional property taxes are not permanent, but are removed from the levy when the term of the bond ends. [Link to source here.]

What is the estimated property tax impact of a $100M project?

The estimated impact will be dependent upon the financing terms. The following estimates have been calculated, assuming a $100M project cost using a Level Debt model.

Estimated Annual Impact, 20 years Estimated Annual Impact, 25 years Estimated Annual Impact, 30 years

Median Value ($928,100) $ 1,024.03 $ 914.12 $ 836

Average Value ($1,101,824) $ 1,215.71 $ 1,085.22 $ 993

term total interest cost est. annual impact: median AV est. annual impact: average AV

20-year $ 54,338,200 $ 1,024 $ 1,216

25-year $ 66,036,988 $ 914 $ 1,085

30-year $ 76,156,875 $ 836 $ 993

est. total cost to taxpayer:

20-year $ 20,480 $ 24,320

25-year $ 22,850 $ 27,125

30-year $ 25,080 $ 29,790

To get a more accurate picture of your estimated cost, add or subtract the $100k in AV (Assessed Value) increment, as follows:

Estimated Annual Impact, 20 years Estimated Annual Impact, 25 years Estimated Annual Impact, 30 years

each additional $100k in AV $ 110.34 $ 98.49 $ 78.22

Property AV = $728,000

Median Value Impact $ 1,024.03 $ 914.12 $ 836

-$200k in Assessed Value $ (220.67) $ (196.99) $ (156.44)

$ 803.36 $ 717.13 $ 679.56

Property AV = $1,500,000

Average Value Impact $ 1,215.71 $ 1,085.22 $ 993

+$400k in Assessed Value $ 441.35 $ 393.97 $ 312.88

$ 1,657.06 $ 1,479.20 $ 1,305.88

What happens if the debt-exlusion vote doesn't pass?

If the debt exclusion vote does not pass both at Town Meeting by 2/3 and at the polls by a majority, the project cannot proceed as proposed.

However, the debt exclusion vote can be placed on a subsequent ballot without the need to go back to Town Meeting if it was already approved there.

Why is the cost of this project so much more than when we built CCHS?

Cost escalation in construction has averaged 6-8% per year since the high school was built. The projected cost per square foot to build the middle school is in line with similar projects in Massachusetts, as seen on the MSBA website here.

Are there opportunities for philanthropy?

Yes, there are opportunities for philanthropy. If you are interested, please reach out to the Middle School Building Committee using the following email address:

Note: Due to the currently planned timing of the project funding vote in January 2022, any financial contributions that would be intended to reduce the project cost to the Town would need to be guaranteed no later than October 2021 when the project Schematic Design estimates are being performed. Any financial contributions received after that point in time would not reduce the total bond amount, but would offset construction or project costs that would be returned to the Town upon successful completion.

What is the project timeline? Has COVID affected this?

Assuming Town Vote of the Schematic Design Scope and Budget in January/ February 2022:

  • detailed design and bidding will take place February 2022 - April 2023,

  • construction and move-in will take place May 2023- April 2025

  • students will commence classes in the new building in April 2025

  • Demolition, abatement and final site work will take place in the location of the existing Sanborn building April 2025 - September 2025.

  • Grass establishment will take two growing seasons and the fields will be ready for use in September 2026.

COVID affected the ability for the Feasibility Study to be completed in 2020. The Study was put on hold in May 2020 and was not restarted until December 2020/January 2021. As a result, a minimum of 6 months was added to the project timeline.

When will the new middle school building open?

Assuming start of Schematic Design in early May 2021 and Town Vote of the Schematic Design Scope and Budget in January 2022, the new school will open in April 2025.

Community Input

What opportunities have there been for the public to learn about the project?

The Building Committee is committed to a transparent, collaborative process. Since its inception in July, 2019, the committee has hosted multiple Community Forums and over 20 Listening Sessions with town committees and organizations. The website, found at, has a plethora of information, and Building Committee Reports are posted regularly. Building Committee meetings are open to the public, and anyone interested is encouraged to subscribe to our distribution list for regular updates here:

How can I be involved in the process?

We welcome public involvement! Join us in any or all of the following ways:

  1. Attend our meetings (Meeting dates and agendas can be found here:

  2. Attend our Community Forums.

  3. Watch recordings of our meetings and forums:

  4. Join our Subscriber List for regular updates:

  5. Email the committee with your thoughts or further interest at

When is the next CMSBC meeting?

The next CMSBC meeting is posted on the Town’s website and the Project website.

How do I find out what meetings are scheduled and when?

The CMSBC and Subcommittee meetings are posted on the Town's website and the Project Website.