It is known as the oldest special education school in the Western Hemisphere, but today it has the newest building.
The American School For The Deaf, the birthplace of American Sign Language, had something to celebrate in West Hartford on Tuesday — a brand new education center.
Tthe Galladet-Clerc Building replaces a structure that had been used to teach hearing-impaired students since 1921.
The new building is 62,000 square feet and state- of-the-art, with interactive “white boards” and flat-screen monitors set up throughout the sprawling hallways.
The plans went back and forth for more than two decades, but the construction on Main Street took just under 18 months.
“It provides full access, visually and auditory, state-of-the-art technology all throughout every classroom,” said Ed Peltier, the Executive Director of the American School For The Deaf.
Jennilee Marques, an ADS senior, exclaimed happily in sign language, “we needed a change, it was time for a change.”
The school serves kids of all ages, about 180 are currently enrolled from all over the world.
There has been some controversy over what is going to happen to the old building which is expected to be torn down in 2015.